Eddie Keher finds it “extraordinary” Brian Cody was questioned following the opening Division 1A defeats to Waterford and Clare.
Kilkenny have recovered with a win over Cork and a pulsating draw against Tipperary and will earn a quarter-final spot should they beat Dublin on Sunday.
Cats legend Keher was taken aback by the flak directed at Cody in the wake of the games, particularly the heavy loss in Ennis.
“Very strange, very strange. How anyone could criticise Brian Cody for what he’s achieved, and being criticised by people who haven’t had anything near like the success he’s had over the years, it’s extraordinary. I suppose that’s a fact of life but there’s no-one better to take the criticism anyway.”
Keher says some have long been sharpening their blades for Cody and Kilkenny. He believes what the James Stephens man has achieved will never be equalled.
“It’s a fact of life, isn’t it? With politics and everything people [critics] are pulling the trigger early. I think we always had that sort of thing in Ireland. I’m afraid the unsuccessful people are waiting to get the successful people and wait for their downfall.
As far as we’re concerned, Brian Cody will always be up there. I mean, the success we’ve had will never be repeated in Kilkenny or any other county. We’re delighted with that, with what has been achieved and I think Brian still has a lot to achieve with Kilkenny. .”
Keher agrees Cody’s ability to lead Kilkenny to their 2014 and ’15 All-Ireland honours are among his greatest achievements given what he had to do with the resources available.
“They were groomed, they didn’t just arrive in on the team, they spent their time being groomed for a few years before they were thrown in and got a permanent position. That seems to be the way to do it. He’s very successful at that.
“When you look back at the great players we’ve lost; Henry, DJ, Eddie Brennan, Martin Comerford, we’d love to have them back again but things move on and we still have great players coming. I think at underage level, even though we haven’t been successful, I think the next few years will be good at underage as well.”
Keher accepts trying to claim two points in Parnell Park against a similarly relegation-threatened side in Dublin will be difficult. “That’s a big ask. I think the team is lacking in depth, we have a lot of injuries, but if the team that played against Tipp can take the field I’d say we’ll have a reasonable chance anyway.”
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