'Let's not get carried away' says new boss
Published 14/01/2017 | 00:00
Long before the end of Sunday's hurling match a ghostly atmosphere had descended on Páirc Uí Shíocháin, Gorey, but still Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald was happy with a safe lift-off to his first competitive game in charge as his side steered their way to a facile victory over U.C.D. in their opening Bord na Móna Walsh Cup game.
A crowd estimated at 3,000 descended on the excellent venue, with many no doubt curious as to what the former Clare supremo would bring to the table.
However, with the colleges side having little impact it took somewhat from the occasion, but Model county supporters no doubt will still be happy with this opening salvo.
Davy will have more serious games to deal with over the coming months, but it was still an occasion enjoyed by young supporters who swarmed all over the Wexford supremo at the end of the game in search of pictures.
As the youngsters joined in the demand for their own pictorial coverage of the occasion, Davy seemed to enjoy their attention.
'I know U.C.D. were down a lot of guys. We can only beat only what is in front of us,' he said.
'It was our first competitive game and we did okay. We play Carlow next and they put it up to Dublin, so we are realistic as to what is ahead of us.
'We need to find a style of play for the team which could take six months. We had to shuffle the lads around today using the open spaces, possibly playing a style of game they are not accustomed to,' he added.
'When we come up against stronger opposition some of the things we tried today will break down, but the test will be can we stick with it, but we have got to stick with it.
'I can feel Wexford are mad to do well and I want to do well for them if I can. I travel up three to four days a week. Three and four of the Clare lads involved with me travel as well. When you come and train a team and get the response it makes it easier.
'We will stick with it and work hard on our game. We are dealing with lovely people and a fine bunch of players who are giving it everything in training. That makes the travelling so much easier.
'I want to be optimistic and have expectations but I want supporters to be realistic. It's not going to happen straight away. We are not going to go up into the top three just like the click of a button.
'When I went into Clare there was no success, but we brought in the Under-21s and we got success. That brought its pressure. If its get success in Wexford it will bring its own pressure.
'It's a big challenge. This is a scene where they have not won anything in years, (so we) have to bring confidence and hope. We played seven at the back today but don't know the pattern.
'We play Limerick in the first league game, then we have Galway, it's a huge challenge. It will not be easy to get out of Division 1B. Wexford have not got out of Division1B for some time so it's a challenge.
'Let's not get carried away with anything today, that's the message to go out,' he added.
On the injury front Davy said: 'Liam Og (McGovern), Shane (Tomkins) and Andrew (Shore) are all progressing through rehab, while Jack Guiney is recovering from a slight hamstring strain but is training very well. I am very happy with their progress.'
Meanwhile, football manager Semus McEnaney was quite happy with the response of his players as they played out an excellent draw with U.C.D. in their Bord na Móna O'Byrne Cup game.
'The attitude of the players was fantastic and they all showed super workrate, which was very important particularly late in the second-half,' he said.
He was especially pleased with the creativity in the lead up to some excellent scores. 'We will now see out the remaining games before deciding on a league squad,' he added.
However, McEnaney was none too impressed with the mark. 'Football today is all about keeping possession.
'The mark will not take from that as the 'keeper will always go short from the kick-out to retain possession. It's of little consequence really,' he said.