We put five of football's pressured managers under the microscope

Paul Keane takes a look at five managers under pressure in football.

MICKEY HARTE

The three-time All-Ireland winning manager has just guided Tyrone to their sixth McKenna Cup win on the trot, a 20th piece of silverware since he took over.

But the county board’s decision of last September to reject his request for an extension beyond 2017 must be concerning.

The board also put Harte through an interview process to retain his position after the 2015 season despite pushing Kerry hard in the All-Ireland semi-finals. He eventually emerged with a two-year deal though it was reported at the time he asked for three.

So while Tyrone are still operating at a high level, and defending Ulster champions, an All-Ireland final place at least may be demanded of Harte.

A good league campaign is probably a prerequisite at this stage.

PEADAR HEALY

The Cork manager could legitimately argue relegation from Division 1 last year was a little unfortunate. Cork finished with six points, the same total that kept Monaghan and Mayo up and actually propelled Donegal through to the semi- finals.

The sting of relegation is the abiding memory for most supporters though and losing to Tipperary in the championship for the first time in over 70 years only compounded matters.

The summer at least ended on a relative high, with a decent performance against Donegal. A fully fit Colm O’Neill, allied to a returning Aidan Walsh, should prove a major boost in 2017. Cork are favourites for promotion from Division 2 so the pressure is clearly on to deliver.

TOM CRIBBIN

Nobody can quite tell if the glass is half full or half empty in Westmeath. They’ve contested the last two Leinster finals with Dublin and, in that regard, have elevated themselves to the rank of second best team in the province.

Yet their Allianz League form has been deplorable and a relegation slide that begun under Paul Bealin as a Division 1 team in 2014 has continued under Cribbin, taking them all the way down to Division 4. Even allowing for summer successes, Cribbin will be a man with questions to answer.

KEVIN WALSH

The former Sligo boss is among 11 inter-county managers heading into their third season in charge. It is a big one for Walsh because while 2016 brought great gains, a Connacht title breakthrough, it ended on a sour note with a surprise All-Ireland quarter-final defeat to Tipperary.

Allied to Galway’s continued inability to gain promotion from Division 2, a certain amount of pressure will be on straight away. The absence of the Corofin players hardly helps.

KIERAN McGEENEY

There was excitement when the 2002 All-Ireland winning captain took over for 2015. Armagh had pushed Donegal hard in the 2014 quarter-finals with McGeeney working alongside Paul Grimley and all the indicators were positive.

But aside from promotion from Division 3 in 2015, which was followed by relegation last year, it’s been a joyless experience under the ex-Kildare chief. Armagh suffered the ignominy of losing to Laois twice in last year’s Championship and simply must improve. Promotion back to Division 2 would ease some of the pressure on ‘Geezer’.



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