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'To hell with the begrudgers' says Laois manager Sheehan after O'Mooremen knock out Fermanagh

Laois manager Billy Sheehan hit out at critics after his side's two-point win in Enniskillen. Picture: Mark Marlow
Laois manager Billy Sheehan hit out at critics after his side's two-point win in Enniskillen. Picture: Mark Marlow Laois manager Billy Sheehan hit out at critics after his side's two-point win in Enniskillen. Picture: Mark Marlow

DEFIANT Laois manager Billy Sheehan took a swipe at his county's "begrudgers” after his underfire side bounced back from a storm of criticism to beat Fermanagh and qualify for next weekend’s Tailteann Cup quarter-finals.

Tension ran high at Brewster Park on Saturday and animated Sheehan appeared to have words with the Fermanagh management after his side ground out a two-point win.

“We got a hammering against Dublin (in the Leinster Championship) but we were in every game bar that one but the players were on the receiving end (of abuse),” he said.

“I don’t care about it really – throughout my career I’ve got it – but I’m disgusted at the way things have gone on, the lying that has gone on about these lads. But we’ll stick together and to hell with the begrudgers.”

Sheehan had been annoyed by “the negativity in Laois” after his side were held to a draw by London at Parnell Park. He said his players had been subjected to a torrent of abuse from ‘fans’ after that game.

“They’re brilliant,” he said, gesturing towards his players who were mingling with delighted Laois supporters.

“Fermanagh are in Division Two (next year) and we’re in Division Four. I know they had a man sent off but we worked so hard in every regard. This is a big win for this team, we were ranked 4/1 outsiders coming up here and the boys showed that they really wanted to win, they dug it out.

“Fermanagh came out in the second half and showed character at home and we reacted and got over the line. Against London we were seven points up and nobody gave the boys credit that, when everything went wrong, they stuck in there. That’s true character and we stuck in there again today and we roll on to next weekend. We’ve got Antrim, Meath or Limerick away and I don’t think any of them will fear us but we’ll bring our small band of supporters with us, who are absolutely thrilled and have come the length and breadth of the country with us, and we’ll leave the people who are abusing us at home.

“Even if we lose, I don’t really care, they can say what they want about me but I’ll stick with these lads.   

“These players have given absolutely everything. To the abusers, I don’t care about ye, keep it coming towards me but leave the players alone. We’ll be ready to go next week.”