"I think people have missed the point with Davy" 3 months ago

"I think people have missed the point with Davy"

Davy Fitz can be an angry man but he's not a silly man.

A prerequisite of inter-county management is a cool-head. With somewhere in between 20 to 80 thousand giddy and roaring supporters around you, it would be very easy to lose the head along with them.

But to deliver team talks - both at half and at full-time, to make positional switches, substitutions and tactical calls, you must be able to think straight, you must be able to focus.

At times, Davy Fitz looks like he's lost it, like he's gone through the wringer. The Sixmilebridge man wouldn't have managed Clare to an All-Ireland title if that was the case.

The topic of Davy's racing mouth and his intermittent pitch incursions came up for discussion on Thursday's GAA Hour Show and former Laois manager Cheddar Plunkett reckons there's method in the madness.

"I think people have missed the point with Davy to be honest with you Wooly," says the Portlaoise man.

"I think Davy knows very well what he's doing, he does these things deliberately and the timing is for affect for his team. That's all he's doing is trying to gain an edge for his team here.

"Davy knows well that there's swings and roundabouts. One of his players will get fouled and one of his players will foul somebody else as well and I'm sure Davy won't be up and down screaming about that..."

It's a game of fine margins, and Cheddar gave an insight into the various tricks and ploys used by managers to gain an edge.

"All managers do different things in terms of putting light pressure on referees. Everybody is trying to gain an edge here. One of the more clever ones I saw with a very experienced All-Ireland winning manager was that he would simply walk out at half-time to the referee and quote statistics - whether they were true or not. It was the number of frees he awarded in the scoring area and that...Of course, the referee would be asking about it half-time then...This is the level we're gone to..."

And the Wexford players certainly appear to be getting a bounce off it.

"People need to know what's going on here...Fourth officials and referees shouldn't react to it. That's what Davy is looking for, he's looking for a spark to spark his team...This has happened. Certainly in Kilkenny (Wexford v Tipp game.) I wouldn't agree with what he did that day, getting involved with a player physically - I don't think he meant it - but it's to motivate or re-energise his team. The players saw that this guy is fighting for our cause, we better raise our game here..."

You can listen to the Davy Fitz discussion, and much more from Thursday's GAA Hour Hurling Show here.