Maurice O'Brien and Leo O'Connor analyse Limerick's performance against Dublin and explain what is needed for them to find their best form
TJ Ryan put forward a passionate defence for his players in the wake of criticism in recent weeks and hit out at the "vultures" in the media pursuing what he felt were "hidden agendas".
Whatever the case in terms of comment or speculation surrounding his team off the pitch, Limerick were superb on it last Friday night.
Ryan's side managed a two-point win over Dublin at Parnell Park and former Limerick hurler Leo O'Connor says that the performance is a telling indicator of what this side are capable of.
"After the first 15 minutes of the game they really took their foot off the pedal and let themselves go and drove on. They got a good few scores, you know the first 15 minutes were very tentative, very tippy-tappy type hurling.
"They opened up and expressed themselves. The players, without a shadow of a doubt, were hurt because of, for want of a better word, the 'Limerick negativity' [in the media]."
"But it was a good performance. Don't get carried away because they've still got Waterford to play and you'll still learn a lot against Waterford. The most important thing is there's a lot of young guys out in that field tonight finishing up."
Limerick's Kevin Downes celebrates scoring his side's only goal
Image: ©INPHO/Gary Carr
The panel itself contains some of those who were involved in Na Piarsaigh's club championship triumph this season and Maurice O'Brien says that the winning confidence is transferable into their inter-county exploits.
"Guys out there with U21 medals and guys with Fitzgibbon Cup medals, as well as the Na Piarsaigh contingent coming back today.
"They need that winning mentality, what they're lacking is that mentality. They need to get used to winning matches in these type of places. Dublin hadn't been beaten here in five years. That's a big, big win to get. They need to drive on now, because a Limerick team with confidence is dangerous for anybody."
O'Connor pointed out that versatility was important for the team and the ability to be able to source scores from all over the park will be a major asset for the team.
"The Limerick half-back line scored six points. David Byrnes got three points from play, Gavin O’Mahony got two points from play and we got a free.
"That's a big return from that middle third of the field, we didn't get that down at Cusack Park in Ennis two weeks ago and hence we ended up being beaten."