Déise hurling manager Davy Fitzgerald isn't worried about criticism of his team ahead of Saturday's Big Match against Clare. It's a must-win game for Waterford after defeats to Limerick and Cork.
“Our first championship game against Limerick, we showed what we’re about. We were a bit flat the last day. I need to get consistency into that team. I’ve told the county board, be it one year or two years, whatever it takes me, I’ll give it everything I have. I’m going to turn every stone. I know the lads believe in the process. All I can ask people is, and I’ve said this to you, there might be a bit of pain before a bit of gain. I mean that. We’re at it five months, we’re going to work extremely hard. This team will be competitive, I’m telling you that. We will be competitive. There will be, please god, good days ahead. If people feel like giving us stick, I can’t stop them, off you go. You can give it to me as much as you want. I don’t really care to tell you the truth. I know the players are working hard for me and I know the county board will back me. In two to three years, if I can’t get them up to a level where the players and the supporters aren’t happy you won’t need to tell Davy Fitzgerald not to be there. I love winning, that’s all I’ve done in any place I’ve gone. Give it a chance and see how we get on. If you’re not willing to do that, work away and do what you’ve got to do. I’m just going to keep working hard.”
He will be doing everything in his power to beat his native county. What is his relationship like with former team mate and current Banner boss Brian Lohan? “There is none and never will be. That’s it. At the end of the day, I’m a Clare man. If Waterford are out, I’d like to see Clare doing well. When Waterford play Clare, I’ll be doing absolutely everything I can and giving it a hundred and ten per cent for the Waterford boys. My team and my management will be the exact same.”
Waterford v Clare will be the George Corbett Skoda Big Match on Saturday. Join Kieran O'Connor and Michael Ryan for live coverage from 5.45.
Listen back to the full interview from WLR's Lár Na Páirce show.