Davy Fitzgerald laments Ger Loughnane's "harsh" criticism of Galway on Off The Ball

Clare manager also describes some of the criticism from local media as "horrendous"

BY Raf Diallo 20:00 Tuesday 12 July 2016, 20:00 12 Jul 2016

Davy Fitzgerald ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Clare manager Davy Fitzgerald has described Ger Loughnane's criticism of the Galway hurlers as "harsh".

The 2013 All-Ireland-winning boss joined Off The Ball for an in-depth chat as the Banner County prepare for an All-Ireland hurling quarter-final on July 24th against a Galway side that have been heavily criticised in some quarters after their Leinster final loss to Kilkenny.

"Ger must have had a fair idea that Clare could end up playing Galway within the next match. For a Clareman to do that, it's tough enough for us trying to beat Galway withut having that, without they thinking that that's what we think. So I didn't see the point in that," he said, underlining the success that the current Galway crop have had in recent years by reaching All-Ireland finals on more than one occasion.

"I just thought it was a bit harsh. Whatever motive he had, I don't know but I thought it was a bit harsh myself. Listen, I'll always have great time for Ger Loughnane for what he did for us but sometimes I don't know why he does stuff like that. But certainly myself, my management team and our Clare team, I don't think we'd agree with it and I think the facts point out for themselves, if you reach two All-Ireland finals and winning Leinster, you can't be a really bad team."

Fitzgerald also hit out at the pressure that the local media in particular put on the team.

"Local media, especially with us, is horrendous. It's something I wouldn't be happy about. Like, we're not a county that has won a rake of All-Irelands and to think that because you've won two or three under-21s that naturally that gives you a God given right, that we should be winning All-Irelands every year...it's hard to beat the Galways, the Kilkennys, the Tipps, Waterfords and the Limericks without getting pressure from your own crowd all the time," he said, also feeling that some critics are misinformed.

Donal Og Cusack INPHO

He also admitted that one thing that annoys him "a lot" are analysts who "just have a cut for the sake of having a cut" and feels some analysis can be overly negative rather than informative.

He contrasted that behaviour with former Sunday Game analyst Donal Og Cuscak who is now on Fitzgerald's own Clare backroom team, saying that, "That's one of the reasons I brought Donal Og Cusack to Clare. He was a breathe of fresh air. If he had something to say, he'd say it but you'd know it wasn't just having a go for the sake of having a go. I love the way he looks at the game."

He also added that he is "thrilled" to have Cusack on board from a hurling point of view and also described him as a "great person" beyond the confines of the sport alone.

Fitzgerald also admitted that he regarded himself as "horrendous" when he first went into management.

"I didn't handle players right, I didn't handle the team right. I just had one vision, wasn't thinking outside the box enough," he said, adding that he does in fact value the importance of fun in a panel and on the perceptions of drink bans, he added that "would I have stopped the lads having a few drinks after the win the other night? No, I would not." 

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