Davy Fitzgerald: "I respect them as players - I don't respect them as pundits"

Wexford lost to Waterford on Sunday

Davy Fitzgerald: "I respect them as players - I don't respect them as pundits"

Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald. Image: ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald was proud of his side despite losing to Waterford in the All-Ireland quarter-finals on Sunday.

The Deise ran out 1-23 to 1-19 winners and speaking to Off the Ball's Oisin Langan after the match, Fitzgerald said: "When you make mistakes - the less mistakes you make, the better the chance. Probably the goal, we made two mistakes, a few frees that we should have let them shoot, we didn't so they're small little things, small little margins. 

"We were chasing the game a small bit. They are further down the line and they deserved their win. I'm extremely proud of the lads. They never gave up till the very end. Now we missed two or three handy scores coming in the end of it but, you know what? lads were tired. 

"The game we play and want to play - it takes a lot out of you. Waterford deserved their win but I'm extremely proud of the Wexford lads," he added.

Wexford's Eoin Moore with Pauric Mahony of Waterford. Image:  ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Asked whether the long campaign took its toll on the players, the Wexford manager said: "I thought we were a small bit sluggish at times. We did some lovely out there at times but it's been a long wight months.  Between the Wexford players and supporters, they've been unreal. It's been one of the best and happiest years I've had. 

"And, as a manager, you'd like a year like that most times. I still believe Wexford can go forward without a shadow of a doubt."

Certain sections of the media have been critical of Wexford's style but Fitzgerald wasn't having any of it. "Listen," he said, adding: "I've had a go at two or three pundits. They haven't a clue. They haven't been down on the sideline...We can go out and play 15-on-15 and if I do that, we're not going to have a hope, that's fact. 

"If they want to see two teams in it every year, grand, that's their view. I don't respect it. I respect them as players - I don't respect them as pundits. That's being honest about it. I'm entitled to my view so I am and that's it. They're entitled to theirs but that doesn't mean they're right. I'm happy in my job.

"Derek McGrath has done an unbelievable job and doesn't get the credit for it and people in Waterford need to see this. If they played a straight 15 - I don't think they'd be getting to All-Ireland semi-finals and they need to wake up and support them like anything," he said.  

The full interview can be heard here: