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Ryan not feeling the pressure

by Michelle Fortune , 23 January 2012

New Waterford hurling manager Michael Ryan does not to expect to come under any extra pressure despite the fact that he is the county's first native boss in 16 years.


Davy Fitzgerald's decision to step down paved the way for Ryan to take over the Deise and he is relishing the chance to lead his native county through the 2012 season.

Despite being the first Waterford man to manage the county's senior hurling team since Tony Mansfield, Ryan insists that he is not under any undue pressure and he does not envisage a time when he will be.

"I haven’t noticed any pressure. Maybe there’s pressure coming down the road but I always feel that if you’re giving your best and preparing properly there shouldn’t be too much pressure," he told Newstalk.

"I’m enjoying it immensely. I’ve been involved in managing, training or coaching all my life and I’m very happy to have assembled a good backroom team.

"We’ll work as a team and we won’t be seeking any controversial headlines. It won’t be about the manager. I always feel that when you win matches the manager gets too much credit and when you lose maybe he gets too much blame. We’ll be looking at the entire group and hope to get the very best of everybody."

It is 53 years since Waterford last won the All-Ireland SHC title but under Fitzgerald they reached 2008 final only to find Kilkenny far too good.

Building a team capable of challenge the likes of Kilkenny and Tipperary is Ryan's main priority but he is refusing to look beyond the upcoming Allianz Hurling League.

"Everyone accepts that Kilkenny and Tipperary are gone ahead of the pile. In the back of everybody’s minds, the ultimate is to win the All-Ireland and Waterford players are no different," he added.

"First of all, you’ve got to re-jig the team and we’ve got to find the best panel of players, sort out a few newcomers and freshen things up and get everything in place and then work hard. I think it’s all about working hard. I’d like to think the players are ambitious and from meeting and talking to them and dealing with them they seem ambitious.

"Ultimately, it’s all about the All-Ireland but we won’t be looking any further than the first game of the National League against Cork, which is a very, very difficult task down in Pairc Ui Rinn on the last Saturday night in February."

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