After their humbling defeat to Fermanagh in the quarter-final of this year's Ulster Championship, it is likely that Kieran McGeeney would have been happy enough for Armagh to be within one win of the Super 8s.
Scoring 0-7 to Fermanagh's 0-12 slightly over one month ago, Armagh backed up wins away to Westmeath and Sligo with another impressive victory this afternoon against Clare. Rallying late on to claim what will nevertheless go down as an improbable win, McGeeney was keen to praise his players for their resilience:
The players never gave up. I have nothing but admiration for them. You could see the smiles on the faces of the young people afterwards and it’s good because that’s the way forward.
It didn't take the former All-Ireland winning captain long to turn the attention toward those few disparaging voices that McGeeney believes he and his team are railing against, however:
In other sports they make heroes out of games but we spend our time on TV demonising our players and personalising things.
Comparing the coverage GAA players receive in comparison to those playing "rugby or soccer", McGeeney condemned the "personal attacks" that purveyors of Gaelic games are susceptible to being on the receiving end of.
After a hotly-contested game that ended 2-16 to 1-15 in Armagh's favour, McGeeney urged the unnamed pundits to cut players "a wee break. Maybe they're a wee bit better than we [past players] were."
Quotations from Irish Independent.