Davy Fitzgerald was oh so careful with his words.
His side were awarded just one free in the second half of yesterday’s Munster championship defeat to Limerick and so the press pack quizzed the Banner boss for his thoughts on the performance of referee Colm Lyons.
But Davy wasn’t biting.
“We scored 2-10 from play? What did Limerick score from frees? They got 10 points from frees? And what did we get? Five? We must be fouling unreal so,” he said.
“Maybe we’ll have to look at how we’re conceding frees. It’s something we’ll have to look at. Or maybe we’ll have to look at getting a few more.
“I’ll ask every one of ye, ‘do you think we’re a dirty team’? Do you think we foul a lot?
“I’m sure, if you really look inside your souls, you’ll see. Why 12 frees to five or whatever it was?
“I don’t know, I don’t think we are dirty. Four sendings off in a year... it’s hard, but I can do nothing. I’m not going to come out publicly and criticise anyone.”
Yesterday’s one-point defeat to Limerick extended Clare’s run without a championship win to 21 months, their last victory arriving against Cork in the 2013 replayed All- Ireland final.
This latest setback should at least have ended in stalemate, according to Fitzgerald.
“We were not the second best team today, without a shadow of a doubt,” he declared.
“I’m not saying we were the best, but we certainly didn’t deserve to lose that one.
“I thought it was a fantastic battle. If that had ended in a draw today, to me, 100% that would have been the right result.
“The lads ran themselves into the ground. We went six-points down in the second half — we did not throw in the towel. We showed phenomenal character, so we did. I am wicked, wicked proud of the guys.”
He continued: “It’s tough, losing games by points that you could win. But at the same time, I don’t care if we lose the next day and go out of the championship, we’ll go back training and we’ll come back next year and the year after. As long as I’m over Clare, we’ll keep fighting.
“While we might have a few knockers, there are good people in Clare; we have some destructive ones but you have an awful lot of good ones. I’m thrilled with the support we’ve got this year for the team. They stood behind us, and fair play to them. They’re good and we’ll do our best for them.
“I don’t know when it will turn for us, but I know — myself and the lads — we’ll stay with it.”
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