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Brian Cody does not want to see Kilkenny being dragged into another relegation battle after the weekend's loss to Waterford.
Kilkenny narrowly avoided being relegation to Division 1B of the Allianz Hurling League with a narrow play-off win over Clare last year and defeat in their opening games leaves them in danger of being sucked into another battle for survival.
Admitting his side were second best on the day, Cody knows they have made life difficult for themselves.
"We'd love to win the League. We can't do that if we're dragged into a dogfight in relegation. The battle is on now and every game now is going to be seriously difficult," Cody stated.
"There's been a lot of rain and pitches are heavy but, look, that's it. It's February and we'll keep going."
Waterford squandered a number of chances but Kilkenny failed to take advantage as the Deise recorded a 0-14 to 0-10 win and Cody admits the margin could have been greater.
"We were hanging in for the duration of the game really. If there shooting was a bit more clinical we would have had a much more difficult battle. But we stayed with it," he explained.
"From a physical preparation point of view, we haven't a lot done either, but there are no excuses, the better team won, that's it. We'd love to get the two points but we'll just work ahead."