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'He should be thanking him' - Owen Mulligan hits out at Sean Cavanagh over Mickey Harte criticism

Mickey Harte chats to Seán Cavanagh in Croke Park last August – the Tyrone manager has been the subject of criticism from his former player this year. Photo: Sportsfile
Mickey Harte chats to Seán Cavanagh in Croke Park last August – the Tyrone manager has been the subject of criticism from his former player this year. Photo: Sportsfile

Sam Roberts

Owen Mulligan says Sean Cavanagh was wrong to criticise former coach Mickey Harte, and claimed the former Tyrone captain should instead be thankful to the legendary manager.

Five-time All-Star Cavanagh retired from inter-county duty last year, and recently described his former manager as 'autocratic', claiming some of Tyrone's talented attackers had suffered under Harte's tactics.

However Mulligan, who won three All-Ireland titles with Tyrone as a player, criticised Cavanagh for speaking out against his old team, saying that he should be thankful to Harte for creating a role that had allowed his brother Colm to flourish.

"His comments are a bit of a contradiction," Mulligan told Paddy Power News.

"While the forwards he named suffered from Harte’s tactics, his own brother Colly has flourished in a role that Micky Harte has created especially for him, and has become the best sweeper in the country. Colly has also received an All-Star nomination and a full All-star, all because of this role he plays. So, instead of slating his ex-manager, he should be thanking him.

"I understand being a pundit and writing a book is all about promoting yourself, but you can stay loyal at the same time, especially when the man helped him win nearly every honour he has."

"Managers and players always disagree, and Harte was sometimes hard to approach as a player, but that’s what a captain’s role involves, thrashing out what’s best for the team and being a spokesperson for the players.

"That should remain a private matter and kept in house. It shouldn’t be dirty laundry washed all over the media."

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