Manager Paul Grimley has hit out at “so-called fans” who want to criticise rather than support his Armagh side.
Tomorrow night, Armagh have an Allianz Football League Division 2 derby clash with Down at the Athletic Grounds (8pm), and Grimley would prefer if people stayed away rather than coming to air their grievances.
Following a humbling 5-16 to 0-7 loss to Tyrone in the Dr McKenna Cup, Armagh managed to eradicate a nine-point deficit to earn a draw in their league opener against Louth last weekend.
Grimley has insisted the players are hurting as much as, if not more than, the fans.
“If the fans are disappointed, how do they think the players themselves feel?” he asked.
“These are young lads for the most part who are trying to take the big step from club football to the intercounty arena and they deserve encouragement rather than criticism. We can do without a negative approach from the stands and terraces.”
Grimley also disagrees that supporters are entitled to say what they like once they have paid their admission fee.
“I don’t hold with this at all,” he said, “I think it is a load of bull.
“These Armagh players are doing their best. Everyone knows that we are very hard hit by injuries — I accept that a lot of other counties are as well — but the lads who have had to be drafted in are trying hard. I would prefer that so-called fans who come with the sole purpose of finding fault should stay away from tomorrow night’s match.”
Armagh go into the game without a number of players, including defenders Aaron Kernan, Finian Moriarty, James Morgan, Kieran Toner, Gary McCooey, Paul McGeown and Brendan Donaghy, while attacker Aidan Forker underwent knee surgery yesterday.
Elsewhere, Donegal have named the same side as that which beat Laois last week for the clash with Galway in Pearse Stadium on Sunday (throw-in 2pm).
Christy Toye, who was named as a sub for the win over Laois but came in as a late replacement for Darach O’Connor, retains his spot at centre-forward after scoring 1-8.
Neill Gallagher is named among the substitutes in place of O’Connor.
DONEGAL (NFL v Galway): P Durcan; K Lacey, N McGee, R McHugh; F McGlynn, L McLoone, A Thompson; R Kavanagh, M McElhinney; M McHugh, C Toye, O Mac Niallais; C McFadden, M Murphy, D Molloy.
Subs: M Boyle, N Gallagher, D Walsh, É Doherty, G McFadden, H McFadden, L Thompson, L Keaney, M O’Reilly, M Smyth, P McBrearty.
MUNSTER SQUAD (Interprovincial HC v Connacht): B Bugler, J Conlon, P Donnellan, P Kelly, D O’Donovan, Colin Ryan (all Clare), P Horgan, D Kearney, L McLoughlin, A Nash (all Cork), P Browne, T Condon, R McCarthy, W McNamara, G Mulcahy, G O’Mahony, J Ryan (all Limerick), N Connors, M Walsh, S Molumphy, S Walsh (all Waterford), M Cahill, B Maher, P Maher, N McGrath (all Tipperary).
Manager: Liam Sheedy (Tipperary)
Selectors: Stephen Frampton (Waterford), James O’Connor (Clare).
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