Micheál Donoghue refuses to believe Galway’s relegation from Division 1A will have any impact on their championship prospects.
Galway were sent down by Cork despite only losing two of their round games as opposed to their play-off counterparts, who failed to win any of their five previous matches.
Donoghue takes solace from seeing how well teams who found themselves in relegation play-offs and Division 1B have done in the championship. He is also adamant the demotion won’t characterise Galway’s season.
“Look, at the outset, you knew what was going to happen if you were down there but from our perspective you still had six games, which was good.
“Ideally, you didn’t want to be relegated but as, we said to the boys, it wasn’t going to define our year and you know anyone that’s being in the same situation over the last couple of years has pushed on and done well for championship and we’re looking to follow suit with that.”
Donoghue’s players have spoken about proving this year they took the right decision in objecting to Anthony Cunningham remaining on as manager.
Donoghue can’t really speak for them. “I think everything that went on... we weren’t privy to it. You’d imagine with everything that went on (they’ve a point to prove)... look, I think every year is different and I think the boys are well focused on the job in hand and everything is focused on June 5.”
Players have used the word “pressure” a lot this year but for Donoghue, it’s expectation.
“I don’t pay much heed to it. In fairness, since we last won the All-Ireland, I think there are huge expectations on Galway to be successful and there’s a lot of media generated to coincide with that, but it is what it is.
“We’ll well acknowledge we have a team capable of being successful and it’s our job now to try and bring them to give them a more consistent performance.”
Ahead of facing Westmeath in Sunday’s Leinster quarter-final in Mullingar, Donoghue is wary he and his management team are still getting to know the players. That may have ultimately manifested itself in being relegated but the Clarinbridge man saw reasons to be cheerful in the league.
“The key is we get more consistent performances and with Galway, they’ve shown they can be a match for anyone so we’re just working hard to become more consistent and, you know, even though we were relegated, there were periods of the league where in different facets and periods of games we were happy coming away from it so it’s just to build on that for championship.
“We’re only a few months into it, the lads are still getting to know us and getting to know the way we want to play so it’s going to take a bit of time.”
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