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Michael Duignan Questions Waterford's Ability To Perform Under Pressure

Michael Duignan Questions Waterford's Ability To Perform Under Pressure
By Gary Connaughton

Heading into this weekend's final set of Munster SHC round robin fixtures, Waterford find themselves in a position that would have seemed unthinkable only a few weeks ago.

Liam Cahill's side know that even a win over Clare in Ennis will not guarantee that they advance beyond the group. Cork's advantage in the head-to-head between the sides means that they are certain to go through if they can overcome Tipperary in Thurles on the Sunday.

It is quite the reversal in fortunes for a side that many were deeming as the only realistic threat to Limerick's All-Ireland ambitions last month.

Defeats to the defending Liam MacCarthy holders and Cork now has them teetering on the brink of elimination. Perhaps they struggled with the tag of potential All-Ireland contenders?

Speaking on the RTÉ GAA Podcast, Offaly legend Michael Duignan said that this Waterford team seems to struggle when the pressure is on. That includes in last week's game against The Rebels, when their manager said it was the biggest game of his time in charge of the county.

One thing that has concerned me, even when they're going well, is their decision-making under pressure is not good.

They take the wrong option. Even the likes of Aussie [Gleeson] going back 130 yards to take a free, or taking a line ball from 90 yards, and putting it wide.

These are the types of things that shouldn't happen but are continually happening. Grand when things are going well...

Then when the pressure comes on; there was pressure on the last day to win and it didn't happen. There's been pressure on a couple of times over the last few years, and they don't respond well to it.

That's something maybe psychological...

Liam Cahill put them under a fair bit of pressure (before the Cork game). He said it was the biggest game in his time with Waterford - they didn't respond to that.

I thought it was really clever management. I said to myself, 'He's really putting them under the spotlight. He's not worried about what Cork bring, or what happens anywhere else, or what anybody else does in another other match. We win this match and we're going through out of Munster'.

It didn't work and that has to be worrying. You don't know how they're going to be on Sunday mentally.

Clare's place in the Munster final is already assured, but that doesn't mean they will roll over on Sunday afternoon.

Considering Tipp's form this year, Waterford can't be certain that even a victory would be enough to stop their championship campaign from ending before it ever really got going.

SEE ALSO: 'It Came At An Awkward Time. I Didn't Think It Would Be So Bad'

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