Tony Óg Regan has been around long enough to know a team is only as good as its last game and the only result that matters is the next one. For Galway that means defeating Waterford in next Sunday’s All-Ireland quarter final at Semple Stadium and reaching the All-Ireland semi-finals for the first time since 2005.
While pleased with the team’s displays against Cork and Clare, Galway’s centre-back knows they will have to raise the bar a few more notches if they are to reach the next stage.
“We are happy enough with our performances over the past two games and training has been going very well but we need to push on,” says Regan. “ The only thing we are focusing on is the 70 minutes against Waterford next Sunday. They are a much better team than they showed in the Munster final and we are expecting a right battle on Sunday. We will need to produce a high quality performance to win.”
Regan wore the number six jersey in last year’s defeat at this stage to Tipperary and it is an experience he does not want repeated.
“We all know what it feels like to be beaten in an All-Ireland quarter-final and we don’t want that to happen again this year. The entire panel is working really hard to bring us to the next level and there is massive competition for places. Guys like Cyril Donnellan and Barry Daly did really well the last day when they came on and we are all pushing each other hard at training. There is a full squad of players who all want the same thing this week, Galway in the last four and we have to beat Waterford to get there.”
Regan is unconcerned about Galway’s poor record against Waterford in championship hurling and has only eyes for this clash in Semple Stadium.
“What has gone before won’t count for a single score this weekend. We know that Waterford will be like a wounded animal on Sunday and we have to be ready for that. We are expecting a really tough challenge and we know it won’t be easy. However training has been going really well and we know what we have to do. We are on the back of two good wins and the mood is very positive. We know we need to build on the Clare and Cork wins and we are going down to Thurles with every intention of doing that.”