McIntyre tells relegation whingers to take medicine
Published 11/02/2011 | 05:00
Galway manager John McIntyre has suggested that strong counties who are relegated from Division 1 of the Allianz Hurling League should take their medicine and "live with the consequences."
McIntyre, whose Galway team begin the defence of their league title with a long injury list, including star forward Joe Canning, believes it's "a bit rich" for counties to be complaining about finding themselves down in Division 2.
There is a growing chorus of opinion that all the potentially strong counties should be kept together in an expanded top flight to avoid a gulf in standards developing.
Colm Bonnar, who takes his Wexford team to Pearse Stadium on Sunday to face Galway, is a strong advocate of inflating Division 1 and he expressed those views earlier in the week.
Two years ago, the then Clare manager Mike McNamara wryly remarked that his team would not contest Division 2 after being relegated. Naturally, the threat did not come to pass.
A proposal to revert to a 12-county Division 1 league is on the cards for Congress in April.
However, McIntyre feels teams should accept relegation and aim to fix what broke them in the first place.
"Some people are saying that you can pick out the Division 2 finalists almost before a ball has been pucked and maybe that has been true over the last couple of years, but it looks like being a lot more competitive over the next couple of months," suggested McIntyre.
"And the reality is that the reason teams are down there in the first place is because they did not compete sufficiently well in Division 1. So it's a bit rich for certain counties to be complaining when they are ignoring the cause of their demise.
"It happened on their watch and they have to take responsibility for it. There is no point in officialdom trying to prop them up if the management and the players have been found wanting.
"If Galway happened to be relegated from Division 1 this year, we will take our medicine because our performances would not have been good enough."
McIntyre was robust in his defence of Canning, who has a heel injury that has been slow to clear up and will miss at least the first two league matches.
Canning candidly admitted at the end of last year that in 2010 he didn't measure up to the standards he had set for himself.
"What people seem to forget is that he's still very, very young," said McIntyre.
"I have worked with Joe for the past two and a half years and I can tell you this, hand on heart, I have never come across an individual who is more committed and devot-ed to the Galway cause than him."