Jackie Tyrrell admits that Wexford have the edge on his native Kilkenny at the moment but the nine-time All-Ireland winner thinks Brian Cody could use that as motivation in the bigger days to come later in the year.
After taking regular heavy beatings from their neighbours in the decade proceeding Davy Fitzgerald's appointment, last Sunday's Allianz Hurling League victory meant Wexford had gone unbeaten in six successive meetings with the Cats.
"There's a resilience about this Wexford team," Tyrrell told the RTÉ GAA Pocast.
"They’re really hard to beat. They’re building confidence and momentum with every win, particularly with every win over Kilkenny.
"It’s not something that will keep Brian Cody awake at night. He would rather have won in Wexford Park but it’s such a hard place to go.
"Wexford hurling is riding the crest of a wave of their performances last year, the Leinster final win and then running Tipperary so close, and they’ve continued that on this year.
"They've added another couple of strings to their bow with players and evolved their game a small bit more so they’re really heading in the right direction.
"But there will be no doubt Kilkenny will be disappointed. Halfway through the second half, when they took the lead with that huge gale behind him, you said 'Kilkenny are going to kick on here, they're going to win this’ but somehow they lost their way, particularly in their forward line."
While the League Sunday analyst acknowledges the importance of putting doubts in the minds of your provincial opponents, he thinks the recent history between the counties could just as easily be used as a motivating tactic by Brian Cody for the potentially pivotal final Leinster group game on 13 June.
"Whatever about Munster teams, with teams you know you're going to face later on in the year, you want to be keeping them down because you’re going to be coming up against them," said Tyrrell.
"Although Davy played it down after the game, looking at his reaction at the final whistle, he really wanted to win that, and the way he emptied his bench of the big guns speaks volumes of what Wexford wanted from this game.
"Since the game, the narrative has been 'Wexford have Kilkenny’s number, they have the psychological advantage’.
"You can be sure Brian Cody will be regurgitating this when it comes down to the very last game of the round robin, which is in Nowlan Park. Kilkenny did beat Wexford in the last round there a couple of years ago so it can have both sides of effects.
"At the moment, the advantage is definitely with Wexford. How Kilkenny harness the language and the talk around this perceived advantage could actually play into Kilkenny’s barrow."
Jackie Tyrrell believes Wexford are "getting very close" to having the depth of panel that Davy Fitzgerald has been looking for #RTEGAA— RTÉ GAA (@RTEgaa) February 18, 2020
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Tyrrell has been heartened by the performances of the likes of Conor Delaney, Conor Browne, Ciaran Wallace, Billy Ryan and Paddy Deegan so far this season and expects Kilkenny to be a different animal when the All-Ireland winning Ballyhale contingent are back from a well earned rest.
"There are positives. There are definitely guys putting their hands up that are going to fight for places come the latter stage of this league and on to the Championship.
"Brian will be reasonably happy that those guys are coming to the fore.
"Clare coming to Kilkenny this weekend is a big game for them and another opportunity to test these lads.
"At the back end of the League, We'll slowly see the likes of TJ (Reid), Colin (Fennelly) and Padraig Walsh integrated back.
"Cillian Buckley back is a big bonus. Two or three years ago, he was our centre-back, our focal point and if we can get him back to that level, that offers you another option in the half-back line and in midfield."