Davy Fitzgerald wants Tadhg De Búrca cleared

It wasn’t all about Shefflin and Duignan, you know.

Davy Fitzgerald wants Tadhg De Búrca cleared

Davy’s post-match debrief ran for 14 minutes and just when you thought he had issued every sort of headline-grabbing comment imaginable, he launched into a stout defence of Waterford player Tadhg De Búrca.

The Waterford defender was red-carded with four minutes of regulation time remaining following interference with the face-guard of Wexford sub Harry Kehoe.

The Wexford boss said his players had no issue with the challenge and wanted De Búrca cleared to play in next month’s All-Ireland semi-final.

“I don’t think he meant it,” said Fitzgerald.

“I really hope [Croke Park] see common sense here. Tadhg De Búrca is not a dirty player. I really, really hope the GAA cut him a break. I think he deserves to play in an All-Ireland semi-final. All of us in Wexford are the same way. I talked to the lads inside and they don’t think he meant it either.

“You want the best players on the field. Give him a chance. Let him out there. Let him go in the semi-final and let the best team win. It is a stupid thing if you are to miss a game because of that.”

Fitzgerald wasn’t so emphatic when it came to his own future and whether he will remain at the helm for a second year in the south-east.

“I am just going to take a bit of time to reflect and see what the story is. I’ll consult with my family. My heart really loves this. I don’t know what is going to happen,” he said.

“I could not speak highly enough of everyone in Wexford. I have to say the way I was treated down there by the county board, by everybody, was incredible.

“You will appreciate that it is two hours and 45 minutes down. You are leaving at 1pm or 2pm in the day and you are not getting home until 1am or 2am in the morning.”

He added: “I don’t think it was too bad a season. I was told I was crazy to go down there, ‘you must be off your head’, people said. I have to say the players did not once question anything I did. If I asked them to train four nights in a row, they never questioned it.

“It was a breath of fresh air. I couldn’t be more proud of them. I see it as a good year for Wexford, I think they need to grow on. Don’t we need a Wexford back? You don’t need to lose them out of hurling.”

Fitzgerald began the afternoon above in the stand, just as he had done during the Leinster final, explaining that he can’t read the game as well when he is on the sideline.

“I actually love watching the game from up there. I can’t read the game properly down there on the sideline. I can’t see it. Should it be just the persona of [me] down on the sideline and going mad? It is not about me. I am there to help Wexford, to try my best for them.

“ The view I had above was pretty decent. We made moves, switching formations and making changes, that got us back in the game two or three times.

“I don’t see anything wrong with managers being up there.”

Fitzgerald cited Kevin Moran’s goal in first-half stoppages as the key turning point.

Wexford, he maintained, had more possession in the opening period and yet found themselves 1-12 to 0-10 behind at the break.

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