independent

Saturday 16 December 2017

Irate Davy lashes RTE pundits Duignan and Shefflin

Brendna Furlong

Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald his hit back at RTE pundits Michael Duignan and Henry Shefflin over their criticism of the sweeper system adopted by both sides in Sunday's All-Ireland Senior hurling championship quarter-final.

Fitzgerald staunchly defended the system which has stood the test for his side this season, bringing them back to the top flight of the National League, a league semi-final and provincial final along with Sunday's All-Ireland quarter-final.

Former Offaly player Duignan tweeted during the game: 'Sweepers should be outlawed. Not the game I love. Coach players to tackle and to use their heads instead of using extra backs to compensate'.

Shefflin also hit out at the style but Fitzgerald was not for backing down.

The irate manager, in a high-pitched tone, responded to the criticisms of the gameplan deployed by his own side and our close neighbours Waterford.

'The people need to wake up. If they want the same one and two teams to play hurling and be successful, that's fine.

'Myself and Derek McGrath are trying to bring teams to the fore that haven't been to the fore in a long time and I'm very strong about this. It's great for the likes of Michael Duignan, he should have had an opinion on something recently and he didn't have it, and he should have stood up. It's time now Michael Duignan stopped this messing.'

Fitzgerald would not say which matter Duignan 'should have stood up' on but it is believed to be his analysis of Brian Cody's exchange with a fourth official during Kilkenny's qualifier defeat to Waterford.

'The job Derek McGrath has done, and stick he has taken is totally unwarranted. What he has done for Waterford, bringing them back to the top is incredible.

'It's easy, easy to knock people. I'd like to see their track records when it comes to managing, because it's a lot different to playing, I can promise you that.'

Davy's view is that a team plays a game to suit the players at their disposal.

'If you want to play a game that's completely open that's fine. But we look at the last 15 All-Irelands and there's nearly been the same two teams in the whole lot of them. I don't know how they feel about that, but I'd like a change.

'It's nothing but negativity, negativity all the time. I don't want to have a go at the likes of Henry Shefflin and Michael Duignan, but you know what? There is a time when you have to stand up for yourself and say what you believe.

'Am I right? I don't know But I believe in what I'm doing and I think in order for you to really throw yourself out there, you have to stand on that sideline with 40,000 people there to experience what it's all about. That isn't an easy place to be.'

The former Waterford and Clare manager called on RTE to review their stable of pundits.

'I think that RTE should go and have a look at themselves and get analysts who have been on the sideline and who know what the story is about and that's how I feel strongly about it. Easy, easy knock people,' he added.

Wexford People

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