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Brian Cody has paid tribute to Kilkenny's 'heroic' full-back line in the wake of their All-Ireland SHC final defeat to Tipperary.
Defenders Paul Murphy, Joey Holden, and Shane Prendergast have come in for criticism for conceding 2-21 in the nine point defeat to the Premier County on Sunday but Cody has refused to pin the blame on the full-back line.
Indeed, the Kilkenny manager insists the team must all shoulder responsibility for the loss.
"They won’t be scapegoated by us. I would hate to think that would happen. That’s the simplest thing in the world to do. It would be very, very cheap sort of analysis of the game if that’s (what is said)," Cody is quoted as saying in the Irish Examiner.
“I haven’t heard a single piece of analysis about it, I don’t know what anyone thinks.
“And at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what anyone thinks. I know what I think and that’s that we win together, we get beaten together, we attack together, we defend together and our full-back line have been heroic and were manful to the very end yesterday as well, as were all our players.”
Kilkenny went into this year's championship with Richie Power, who was forced to call time on his inter-county career because of a knee problem, while Michael Fennelly and Ger Aylward were both ruled out of the decider because of injury.
Despite the setbacks, Cody does not agree with the suggestion that the Kilkenny panel lacked strength.
"If we won the last two All-Ireland finals and if we were beaten in this year’s All-Ireland final with a poor panel, that’s fair going, that’s fair going alright,” Cody stated.
"You’d have to wonder about how we do it, to be honest about it, because in reality it couldn’t be done.
"We’ve just been speaking about injuries, we’ve just been speaking about fellas who we could have had (available) but didn’t have so that’s a reflection of our panel and the reality is our panel has done this for us and got us here.
"And there are players on our panel who haven’t been seen yet who will be top players, and quickly. You can rest assured of that."
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