Davy Fitzgerald admitted his Wexford charges were missing energy and bite in their defeat to Galway, but promised “it’ll be a different championship from July”.
The Tribesmen were terrific in a 1-23 to 0-17 win that earned them a place on the Leinster SHC final.
Fitzgerald heaped praise on the All-Ireland champions, but was puzzled by his own team’s relative lethargy.
“I just felt we were a small bit flat today,” he told RTĂ‰ Sport’s Brian Carthy.
“I don’t think we won any of the 50-50s. It wasn’t the energetic display that you’d normally see.Â
“I felt Galway were a lot sharper. Whether it’s down to being the third week in a row, I’m not entirely sure, but we just know today we were beaten by the better team.Â Â
“You have to take your hat off to Galway, they’ll be hard beaten. We need to get over this first phase of the championship and hopefully be there in July. It’ll be a different championship from then on.”
Wexford go to Nowlan Park next week knowing victory will send them into a rematch with Galway in the Leinster final.
Fitzgerald fears the exertions of the round-robin campaign will take a heavy toll though, and goes more in hope than expectation.
“We’re going down to Nowlan Park next week and we know we’re behind the eight ball,” he said.
“Kilkenny will be fresh. They’ve had the week off. It’s a massive ask to go down there. Being honest, it’ll be very hard for us to turn over Kilkenny next week. I don’t think you can do four weeks in a row, but we’ll give it a go.Â
“The one thing I’ll associate with these Wexford lads is that they’ll fight on their backs. We were fighting but there didn’t seem to be that energetic life we’d normally have to fight like dogs for every ball. It didn’t seem to be there.
“Galway were phenomenal. Fair play to them. We have no cribs whatsoever. They’ll be hard beaten this year but it’ll be a different championship from July on that’s all I’ll say to you.”