It may only be the middle of February, but opening their Allianz HL campaign with a win over Cork was important for Galway, according to Henry Shefflin.
Following a player revolt in the close season that led to Anthony Cunningham tendering his resignation, the prevailing view now is that the squad have increased the pressure on themselves to deliver silverware in 2016.
Speaking on RTÉ Sport's Allianz League Sunday, Shefflin spoke about that pressure following on from the 1-27 to 1-21 win over the Rebels in Division 1A.
"There is pressure on the players and indeed the whole set-up this year," said the Kilkenny legend.
"From the outside looking in, we all thought it was a good year for Galway last year. It looked good at half-time in the All-Ireland final and no one was saying anything about Anthony Cunningham.
"But we don't know the set up internally. Obviously the players felt it wasn't right and Anthony had to go in the end.
"To be fair Micheál Donoghue was very well respected in Galway hurling circles so they have a very good replacement in.
"The pressure is back over to the players now and they know that themselves. They have to produce the goods on the field and they did that against Cork.
"Judging on their performance, everything you could ask for in Galway was there - open hurling and great scores."