Kilkenny manager Brian Dowling was unhappy with his side’s performance in their 2-17 to 1-11 victory against Westmeath in Mullingar on Saturday afternoon.
Kilkenny finished the game stronger than their hosts to eventually run out nine-point winners but they found themselves four points behind at half time.
Speaking after the game, Dowling said that he was disappointed with his side’s performance despite the victory.
He said: “It’s a strange one because if you win a championship match by nine points, you’re usually happy but we’re very disappointed with our first half performance.
“It’s just not what we are about. These girls have set high standards over the last few years, and they were just well off the pace today.”
Dowling also questioned his players work rate as they failed to take control of the game throughout the first half.
“Our work rate wasn’t good enough. We have a lot of improving to do and I know these girls and they will improve.
“Everybody will be writing us off now and that’s the way we like it, so we’ve got the win, but we have to increase our work rate,” Dowling said.
Despite the disappointing display, the 2020 All-Ireland winning manager believes the encounter may prove useful as the season progresses.
“This game might stand to us in the long run. Everyone knows that there are places up for grabs and it’s up to the girls who start to hold onto that jersey.
“We’ll get back training on Tuesday night and we’ll see what we’re like then.”
The O’Loughlin Gaels man also revealed that he is relishing the prospect of facing Galway next weekend.
“I’m delighted we have another game next week. There won’t be a bigger challenge than Galway and that’s exactly what we need now after today’s performance.”