Davy Fitzgerald wants an end to "negativity" in Clare hurling following what he’s admitted has been a "trying month."
The Banner suffered relegation to Division 1B of the Allianz League on Sunday but manager Fitzgerald insisted people who believe that players are not being treated fairly under his watch are “only fooling themselves.”
Fitzgerald had to deal with the fallout from Davy O’Halloran’s public announcement that he had been “humiliated” after an alleged breach of team discipline.
But, even though Clare will be playing second tier League hurling next year, Fitzgerald stressed the vibe within the camp is “great”.
Fitzgerald conceded, however, that the last few weeks have been difficult as he thanked supporters for standing by the team.
Fitzgerald hinted on Clare FM he will give his players a few days off to “enjoy themselves” before “getting back to work in the next seven or eight days.”
He said: “We’ll pull together and whatever comes our way, we’ll deal with.
“I’d like to think that as a county as well. There’s enough of negativity in the world, trust me. Myself and management will treat everybody fairly and I think everybody that knows us knows that. People that want to believe otherwise are only fooling themselves.
“I suggest we get behind each other and work as hard as we can to enjoy this period, win or lose.
“Get behind this great team over the next two or three years. That’s the message from me and I would hope that people would take this on board.
“This is our life and we are 24/7 thinking about it.”
Fitzgerald described the recent negativity surrounding Clare hurling as “absolutely wrong” and he continued: “There’s no sides to this. There’s no issue, I can promise you. We’re a fair-minded bunch.”
And he added: “I know how tight the players are. I know how tight as a management and players we are. At training the vibe is great all the time. The week before the last game (Kilkenny in the group stages) we didn’t push them that hard because I had a fair idea that Galway wouldn’t beat Dublin.
“I said if we could scrape over the first Kilkenny game, fair enough, but I knew they’d put in everything they had on Sunday — and I wanted to be ready for it, wanted us to stand up and fight and show what we were made of.
“In fairness, the lads did that. As I’ve said, we’ve won four (senior) All-Irelands in 130 years. Just because we win U21s doesn’t give us the right that we can go and win this, that and the other thing. That is rubbish. Teams in Galway and Limerick won those titles and won nothing afterwards.
“Can I say we will be successful this summer? I don’t know. But between this summer and the next two or three summers, we will be working very hard to get a fifth All-Ireland back to Clare. That’s what we will be doing. Keep things in perspective and let’s not get carried away.
“And I’d like to thank the supporters that have stood behind us in this trying last month or so. I’d like to thank them very much.
“They know what we’re about and the positivity they’ve given us is fantastic. I’m so proud of the lads, the way they’ve conducted themselves over the last few weeks as regards keeping their heads down and working extremely hard. They’re a fantastic bunch of guys.”
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