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Published: 14:23 | 30/4/16

Ryan regrets missing Deise final

Westmeath host Offaly at Cusack Park in Leinster SHC opener

Westmeath boss Michael Ryan says he would love to be in the stands for his native Waterford's Allianz Hurling League final against Clare on Sunday.

Ryan, who managed Waterford for two years in 2012 and 2013, says he will turn his attentions to Semple Stadium immediately the final whistle sounds on Westmeath's Leinster SHC opener against Offaly at Cusack Park.

"I’m really, really sorry to miss that game now because it would be lovely to be above in the stand. It’s going to be fascinating, two similar styles, two teams prepared very well and their managements will have looked into every iota and detail," he told the Irish Examiner.

“Waterford and Clare haven’t that many Leagues and All-Irelands that they can’t afford not to [go for it].

"There’s a national trophy at stake here. I think both will see it, while they mightn’t admit it, as a chance to gain a psychological advantage for the championship.

"They’ll both go at it and it’s going to be a really, really intriguing game. And it will go all the way to whatever that wire is they talk about. And Waterford to win by a point!"

Ryan believes Waterford have improved in the two-and-a-half years since McGrath took over, and questioned those who criticised the Deise's playing style.

"Waterford have a lot of really good players and they have a good minor team coming through as well," Ryan continued.

"They got criticised for their style but in Derek’s first year they took a few beatings and it wouldn’t have made sense to continue what they were doing.

"They took a look at it, changed their system and they’re quite entitled to do that.

"I can’t understand why people are bitching about it (their style).

"As a management team, and as a manager, you have a look at what you have, you look at your resources and try to produce something that will make them more difficult to beat and more competitive. They’ve done that."

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