WATERFORD captain Stephen Molumphy last night called for Davy Fitzgerald to remain as senior hurling boss, admitting that the players, and not the manager, employed the wrong tactics in the All-Ireland SHC semi-final defeat by Tipperary.
Fitzgerald was heavily criticised in the wake of the loss to the Premier county with pundits and fans questioning the overly-defensive strategy of the Munster champions.
The defeat brought an end Fitzgerald’s tenure at the helm and the issue is to be discussed at a Waterford County Board meeting on Monday night.
However, Ballyduff Upper’s Molumphy insisted Fitzgerald was blameless for the manner in which the side approached the clash.
Molumphy said: “We had our tactics all planned out for us but it was us, the players, who didn’t stick to them on the day.
“We were the ones that changed our tactics out on the field.
“Don’t ask me why, but that is the fact of the matter.
“I’m prepared to put my hands up and say it was the players, and not the manager, who were at fault.
“We didn’t stick to the tactics Davy had wanted us to operate.
“We lost our shape and that can’t have been the fault of team management.”
Molumphy said: “He is, in my book, the man to continue at the helm. Davy came on board and in the three years that he has been here he has done one hell of a fine job.”
The skipper insisted the preparations this season had been faultless and pointed to the team’s results to back up his argument.
“We only lost only three competitive games in league and championship this year.
“We played 15 competitive games in 2010, winning the Waterford Crystal League and the Munster championship’’.
Under Fitzgerald, Waterford played 14 championship games since 2008, winning eight, drawing two, and losing four.
“We have beaten all of the top teams, Tipp, Kilkenny, Cork included, in either the league or championship and in fact the only team we have not beaten in the championship under Fitzgerald’s watch is Kilkenny.”
Molumphy said some of the criticism that had come Fitzgerald’s way in the aftermath of the All-Ireland semi-final defeat by Tipp just didn’t stand up to scrutiny.
“It’s my belief Davy Fitzgerald has been, and is continuing, to do a great job as manager, and that is why he has my total support. I don’t think the board should look beyond him for the job.”
It looks likely delegates will approve a sub-committee, headed up by county chairman Tom Cunningham, to consider all contenders for the role. They will return with a recommendation to be voted on by the delegates.