Kieran Hughes on Monaghan: "We just try to keep raising the bar"

Off the Ball's Saturday panel reflected on the football championship so far

Kieran Hughes on Monaghan: "We just try to keep raising the bar"

Monaghan’s Kieran Hughes. Image: ©INPHO/Oisin Keniry

Kieran Hughes joined Off the Ball's Saturday panel to look back on the Championship season so far.

Monaghan exited the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship at the hands of Dublin by a score of 1-19 to 0-12. However, Hughes believes Monaghan have improved over recent season's and will keep looking to do so.

Speaking to Ger Gilroy, he said: "The way Monaghan have been going the last couple of years, we just try to keep raising the bar and along with trying to raise the bar, you're going to have to deal with big set-backs as well. 

"You're trying to beat the bigger teams but then a smaller team, as they say, come along and they beat you and all of a sudden it's a big shock because people expect so much out of you all of a sudden. 

Dublin's James McCarthy and Kieran Hughes of Monaghan. Image: ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

"I think we dealt with that (Longford loss in 2016) fairly poorly but I couldn't wait to get on a plane last year and get away from the whole thing. It just consumed far too much of my energy and life and especially when the club (season) was prolonged that year until December and you're back in inter-county training three weeks later...I don't know if you'd see it anywhere else," he added.  

Looking back at disappointing 2016, Hughes said: "This time last year, 100% I wasn't enjoying it...we got knocked out of Ulster with the club in early October and I knew I had 6 weeks off so I did whatever I could in them 6/7 weeks to let the hair down and rest up.

"Then I sort of had to make a decision and I wasn't getting the best out of myself on the field for Monaghan. My performances were way below par and I can't accept that...so I had to make a decision, it's one way or the other here."

The full Saturday panel podcast can be heard here: