Eoin Larkin's insight into a very uncertain time for Kilkenny

Former All Ireland winner speaks to Off The Ball as the Cats struggle early on in the Allianz Hurling League

BY Raf Diallo 20:02 Monday 20 February 2017, 20:02 20 Feb 2017

Image: ©INPHO/Donall Farmer 

Former Kilkenny star Eoin Larkin still expects the team to reach the "business end of the championship" despite a difficult a poor start to the 2017 league. 

On Sunday, the eight time All Ireland winner watched on as the Cats lost 2-19 to 1-12 against Clare which is one of the heaviest defeats during the long and successful Brian Cody era. 

 

 

The result leaves last year's All Ireland runners up bottom of Allianz Hurling League Division 1A after two rounds of action.

That has led to question marks over the transition and rebuilding process after retirements and the integration of new players.

Larkin had touched on the issue of attitude and work rate on Sunday after Kilkenny's loss to Clare and speaking to Off The Ball this Monday, he expanded on the points he made on Twitter, saying it wasn't skill levels that concerned him.

"It wasn't that that frustrated me. It was literally the work rate. I expected a small bit more out of them yesterday," he said.

One of the concerns for observers is the production line of talent coming through and whether the quality is there.

"I'm not sure about that," said Larkin however. "When I came into the panel, we were after having a few lean years with under-21s and minors as well. It's just the way different players develop I think. 

"Given time, they may be even better than the players who went before them. But who knows. We'll just have to wait and see on that one."

And he still expects Kilkenny to be contending when the All Ireland championship gets underway in the summer.

"I've no doubt that they'll be at the business end of the championship and I'm well aware that it's very early in the year too," he said, adding that the full back line concerns him most regarding positions.

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