Kilkenny manager Brian Cody has denied that he will use the Cats’ Leinster final defeat as a motivational tool ahead of Sunday’s All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship final against Galway.
The Tribesman landed a historic first Leinster title when they destroyed Kilkenny by 2-21 to 2-11 on 8 July.
It was Cody’s charges’ first provincial defeat since 2004, but they have responded magnificently to reach a record-breaking seventh consecutive All-Ireland decider.
And the James Stephens clubman says the occasion should be enough on its own to lift his players.
“Being in an All-Ireland final is (all the) motivation absolutely that you would ever want,” Cody said.
"There’s certainly no need for any further motivation than that. And I would absolutely hold that to be true because it’s a pinnacle for every player.
“It’s what the year is geared towards. It’s what the year is all about.
"And only two teams get the opportunity to play out that day, and thanks be to God we’re one of them. If it were somebody else who hadn’t beaten us this year the motivation would be the same.”
However, Cody accepted that the players themselves may want to atone for their provincial woes.
“But human nature being what it is, when you line out – and this goes much more so for players than for team management – you’ll be squaring up to, or lining against, a player who has maybe given you a bit of a lesson a few weeks ago,” Cody admitted.
"Only two teams get the opportunity to play on that day, and thanks be to God we’re one of them" - Brian Cody
“And natural sporting pride would presumably suggest you’d be inclined to say to yourself ‘I don’t want this to happen again’, you know?”
The Kilkenny boss reiterated that they had no excuses for their performance in their last clash with Galway, and insisted that the Connacht men were simply the better team on the day.
“I don’t think we could even begin to use complacency or overconfidence in any way as an excuse for our failure in the Leinster final,” Cody said.
“Our failure in the Leinster final was very, very simple.
“They were absolutely way better than us on the day. They were more intense. They were more physical. Their hurling was at a different level altogether and they grabbed hold of the game basically from the very, very time the ball was thrown in and they held onto it for the rest of the game essentially.
“They completely were the better team.
“On the day we made no excuses for it, and I still make no excuses for it. There are none."