Just one step away from an All-Ireland final, Tipperary boss Eamon O’Shea insists that it’s simple “hard work” that sees them within touching distance of a showdown with Kilkenny.
The 2010 champions face Cork in the semi-final on Sunday in Croke Park (3.30pm).
After a very disappointing 2013, the Munster semi-final defeat to Limerick in June hinted at another short summer for the Premier County.
However, O’Shea and his men refused to press the panic button and produced a brilliant qualifier comeback victory against Galway, before recording comfortable wins over Offaly and Dublin to reach the semi-final against Jimmy Barry-Murphy’s Rebels.
Reflecting on the progress made since defeat to the Treaty County, O’Shea told RTÉ Sport: “It was a disappointment but it didn’t set any alarm bells ringing. We had to figure out how we would recover from it.
“Like everything else, it was hard work. You just get back to the training pitch and you try to figure out what’s wrong. You try to move it on, there’s no magic wand.”
Eamon O'Shea reflects on the win over Dublin
“We hadn’t being going too badly and we played a good league final and we were disappointed we didn’t beat Limerick but in a sense we knew that we were in a position, we were still in there if we could manage to get ourselves back up again.
"[We had] that confidence that we had being going pretty well in the previous four or five games.
“Limerick scored a goal in the last couple of minutes to win the game so it wasn’t the fact that we lost heavily, we lost the game by a couple of points.
“We were trying to win the game right until the final whistle so that gave us something to work on. And when you have something to work on and players who believe in themselves, it wasn’t too difficult to get back on the horse again,” he added.
O’Shea, who took over in Tipp in September 2012, also hailed the work of the more experienced players who have helped the younger members of the squad to progress as hurlers.
“That’s what you have to do with a management team, they have to provide the wisdom and experience that you have and the older players do it as well.
"They’ve been very important – the likes of Eoin Kelly, Lar Corbett, John O’Brien, Paul Curran in terms of guiding this team through,” he said.
“Our guys are good guys, they’re easy to manage. They work really hard to try to get to the levels.”
Barry-Murphy’s Cork come in as Munster champions and 2013 All-Ireland finalists and O’Shea admits that Sunday’s task is far from easy.
“Formidable,” he replied when asked about the challenge.
“They have the experience of playing in an All-Ireland [final] last year, two games. [They are] Munster champions so they are formidable.”
Live radio coverage on RTÉ 1 from 1400.