Tipp star says former mentor Keating should 'think twice' before criticism
Published 02/06/2010 | 05:00
Tipperary midfielder Shane McGrath hit back at stinging criticism from within the county last night by insisting that one defeat won't floor their championship challenge.
McGrath admitted comments from former manager Michael 'Babs' Keating and former secretary Tommy Barrett were "not helpful" to the team's recovery.
Keating had accused the Tipperary hurlers of failing the county and predicted that they would not have the capacity to work their way through the qualifiers. It's not the first time Babs has criticised players he worked with without success between 2005 and 2007.
McGrath has urged critics such as Keating to "think twice" about what they say in the future.
"Babs is a pundit. If people say these things, maybe they should think twice about saying them, but they don't and they say these things so they'll sell papers or they'll be listened to. I'd always thank Babs for giving me my chance in inter-county hurling, but that's in the past now," said McGrath.
"Some of the finest hurlers in the country are on our team. You don't become a bad team overnight. I don't really take what these people say to heart. If you did, you would just give up hurling in the morning.
"It's probably not helpful," admitted McGrath, who said he understood that Babs and Barrett knew an era when Tipperary were all-conquering.
"They just want to see Tipp hurling at the top and that's fair enough. No one went out to play a bad match on Sunday; we all went out to do our best. The great positive I take from that is the same thing happened to Kerry last year and look where they ended up."
Tipperary's heaviest defeat to Cork in the Munster Championship since 1942 sparked criticism and prompted a meeting of the players and management last night. So far, manager Liam Sheedy has kept his counsel on criticism from Keating and others.
Tipperary will now take a week off training before resuming their preparations for qualifiers they haven't always been favourably disposed to.
Barrett has also hit out at Sunday's referee on local radio, suggesting he hasn't been a fan of Barry Kelly in the past.
"I didn't like the referee, first of all, I never liked him. When Cork are playing Tipp, it's always a massive game, a strong game, a hard game," said Barrett.
"You must have a good, strong referee. He pulled Paul Curran for handpassing the ball (in the first half); he let Cork go four times before that."