Louth manager Pete McGrath. (Pic: Arthur Kinahan)
Louth manager Pete McGrath found the week following the Leinster Championship defeat by Carlow “painful” and has admitted to questioning himself and his leadership of the county. However, he says that he is determined to fight on.
The panel regrouped at Termonfeckin beach last Friday night and although there were a number of absentees through work and college commitments, it is understood that nobody has informed management of their intention to leave the squad.
McGrath was the subject of some criticism in the aftermath of the Portlaoise loss, particularly over the comments he made in his post-match interview where he said that he may have “made better decisions in life” than assuming the top job in Louth.
The only media he consumed about the game was the report in Monday’s Irish Times, which he referred to as “objective” and “unhysterical”.
Almost two weeks on, however, McGrath revealed that he was somewhat bemused at the line of questioning from reporters post-match, especially over being asked if he ‘regretted taking the job’. Yet the criticism he took in the media is of little consequence to the two-time senior All-Ireland winning manager.
“What the media says, locally or nationally, they’re entitled to their opinions,” McGrath told The Dundalk Democrat.
“I don’t regret anything I said because there was nothing that I said that was untrue. There was nothing that I said that was, in my view, over the top. When you suffer an 11 point defeat, that raises all kinds of questions about everybody.
“When the question was asked did I regret my decision (to take the job); I said that I’d probably made better decisions and if you think about it, I think that was a pretty reasonable answer to give.
“We had a very, very difficult league campaign, we all know that, and then you get an 11 point defeat in the championship and someone says ‘do you regret taking over the team’. Tell me any manager anywhere who at that point in time, and who was asked that question in a media room, what does he say?”
He added: “I follow certain principles, I do things in a certain way and I’ve certain things that I expect off players, and if we fall short then things are said: ‘that’s it’, and if people in Louth aren’t used to hearing home truths then that’s fine, that’s not my problem.
“I couldn’t care less (what the media say) because I’m too long in management and I’ve seen too many things in life to be worried about what some guy says in a paper. As long as I can say, at this stage, that I’ve done my very, very best for this team, and I will continue to do that.
“If someone wants to take some kind of umbrage or read into a comment then that’s newspaper men and that’s fine. But, I can assure you, it does not in the slightest bother me because I’ve been through it all before.”
The first round qualifier draw takes place on Monday morning with the games to begin on June 9.