Larry O’Gorman says manger Davy Fitzgerald has brought the type of feel-good factor not seen with Wexford since 1996 as the Yellow Bellies face their most challenging assignment to date on Sunday.
Fitzgerald has led the Model County out of 1B at the first attempt, and raised eyebrows when Wexford lowered Brian Cody’s Kilkenny in Nowlan Park in the Allianz League quarter-finals.
The Slaneysiders are on a six-match unbeaten run as they look to reach a first league final since 1993, but standing in their way are the reigning All-Ireland champions Tipperary, who have oozed class throughout the League campaign.
They topped 1A and averaged more than 27 points per game in their six outings.
Former All-Ireland winner with Wexford O’Gorman concedes that it will be a huge ask to get past the Premier, but is delighted with the progress his county have made in the early stages of Fitzgerald’s stewardship.
Aside from dumping All-Ireland champions Clare out of the qualifiers three years ago, Wexford fans have had little to shout about with their senior hurlers since that glorious day back in 1996, but O’Gorman sees comparisons between then and now as the team sets their sights on another upset.
"Davy [Fitzgerald] has put them through such a heavy programme and it’s okay.," he told 2fm’s Game On programme.
"The programme goes well, you get results and hard training means nothing once you are winning.
"When you are getting result, after result after result, the momentum starts going with you, everyone starts getting behind you and the feel-good factor is starting to remind me a little bit of 1996."
Fitzgerald’s passion and enthusiasm have been highlighted by players and fans alike, and O’Gorman says the Clare native has given the players the freedom to express themselves on the pitch.
"The will, the drive, the passion, the hunger is there," he said."Something that has been missing.
"Davy has brought that among the players and they are playing with their heads up and with confidence."