GAA Editor @BrianGBarry
Eddie Brennan revels in Laois shock victory over Dublin
Last Updated: 08/07/19 5:45pm
Eddie Brennan expressed his delighted following his Laois side's shock win over Dublin in O'Moore Park.
"They are mighty men and we have seen them grow through the year," he said. "That's what you want as a manager and at times they drove it which is what it is all about.
"I'm delighted for the players because I could very easily have been beaten today and called for how silly this thing [short turnaround] is but we have made it happen.
"Hurling is a very simple game. You have to be able to execute the basic skills under fatigue and under pressure. I never doubted their skill level or their ability to get stuck in. I was bouncing going down the road Friday evening because I new they were going to be well up for it.
"I was afraid just to keep my emotions in check because I can't get overly pumped for them because we have to stay composed. We have to let them take it on and that's what we did."
Many commentators felt the quick turnaround following the Joe McDonagh Cup final would affect the O'Moore County, but Brennan revealed he let his players celebrate last weekend's triumph:
He said: "They went and they enjoyed Sunday night and no problem. They enjoyed Monday as well but they came back in here Tuesday evening and not one of them grumbled or groaned and that for me was, 'right, there is something here'.
"They believe in each other as much as anything else. It's the players: they are the ones that cross the line. They are the ones that drove each other on and our game plan and our focus was very simple. We focused on being able to execute the skills of the game under pressure and under fatigue and they done that in abundance when they needed to."
Laois now look forward to next Sunday's All-Ireland quarter-final against Tipperary. Meanwhile, it's the end of the line for Dublin after what was a positive first year in charge for Mattie Kenny before Sunday.
"There's an element of responsibility between the players and the management today," the Galway native said.
"That was an unacceptable performance from our group. And we know that. The problem is, it's too late now.
"It's a disappointing way to finish the season for us. Laois put up great fight there. They had great hunger. Dublin weren't at the required level today. And we've nobody to blame for that only ourselves.
"Unfortunately the focus and the level of professionalism that we'd expect from ourselves wasn't there today.
"When we qualified out of Leinster, we wanted to go deep into the championship. This is not the way we wanted to go out. It's a bitter disappointment for us."
He also hinted that over-confidence from external sources may have entered into the panel's mindset:
"Our preparation went really well," he said. "But sport is funny. You have to make sure that outside influences don't seep into the guys' minds. A lot of people were writing about 'Dublin are playing Tipperary'.
"Laois played really well today. But it wasn't a satisfactory performance for us," he concluded.