Derek McGrath has no doubt that Austin Gleeson will come back stronger from his below-par display against Cork.
The reigning Hurler of the Year scored a magical first half point, but never got into the game and was eventually substituted with seven minutes to go as the Deise slipped to a five-point defeat.
"There's always an argument for leaving the Player of the Year on, a bit of magic. We just felt he was a bit fatigued," the Waterford manager explained.
"That was the argument we had - is he someone capable of doing something special near the end of the game? Of course he is. But with the day that was in it, the conditions, we erred on the side of fresh legs as opposed to someone who's trying hard, but isn't quite flowing.
"No different to what we did with him in the last few years, we gave Austin a free role and hoped Colm Spillane would follow him. He did, we hoped space would open up, but that's sport. That's the reality of what can happen."
McGrath added: Austin will bounce back. He's 21, he'll have more good days in the Waterford jersey. I was more delighted with his conduct when he came off the field, encouraging the team."