'There was one or two quotes used during the week - it was very disrespectful'

Clare manager Davy Fitzgerald says some pre-match talk was ‘great motivation’ for the Banner as they conjured a superb win over Kilkenny

Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

DAVY FITZGERALD HAS claimed his Clare side were written off before their nine-point hammering of reigning All-Ireland champions Kilkenny in Thurles on Sunday.

But the Banner boss revealed the pre-game chatter only served to motivate his side, who led by thirteen points at one stage of the Allianz League semi-final.

“There was one or two quotes used during the week that we used, that we might as well not turn up today”, Fitzgerald said.

“I thought it was very disrespectful, I don’t think we’re a bad team. I think we’ve showed that over the last number of years.

Brian Cody and Davy Fitzgerald Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

It was great motivation. I hope people keep saying it! That’s brilliant when you’re wrote off, that’s great. I was reading stuff that was motivating Kilkenny when we didn’t actually say it whatsoever as a unit.”

Despite the calibre of the win and a forthcoming appearance in a Division 1 decider for the first time since 2005, Fitzgerald is refusing to take the bait and insists the team are still ‘third or fourth favorites’ for an All-Ireland they won in 2013.

“All we can do is take every match as it comes”, said the Sixmilebridge man.

“I’m very proud of the lads today but it’s mid-April – let’s not get carried away with anything stupid.

All I want is Clare to be competitive. We’re not under any illusions. We’re probably still third or fourth favourites for the All-Ireland. But I want us to be competitive. Wherever I go, I want Clare to be competitive. That’s my one wish. No matter what the story is. That we’re right in the thick of it – that’s all I can ask for. And that we have good days.”

Derek McGrath Fitzgerald is a fan of Waterford and their manager Derek McGrath. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Clare will meet Waterford in the final on 1 May and Fitzgerald has been impressed with the reigning champions and their manager Derek McGrath, describing the Déise as ‘the best team in the country’.

“I think he (McGrath) is doing a fantastic job. That’s a fair feat to get to two of them (finals) in a row. Fair play to him.

They strolled through Division 1 and to me, they’re the best team in the country, without a shadow of a doubt at the moment. If you look at the whole league you would say that. I think they’ve been beaten once, by Dublin. But they have been very consistent. They had a harder route than we did. They had serious competition.

We’ll have a battle on our hands to play them in two weeks time but we’ll give it a go and see what happens.  A few weeks after that we got to go again. It’s going to be an interesting six weeks.”

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Eoin O'Callaghan

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