Kilkenny manager Brian Cody says he's to blame for his team's shortcomings in 2017.
An extra time defeat to Waterford in July's qualifiers saw the Cats endure their earliest exit from the championship during Cody's reign and, speaking at the centenary of the Top Oil Leinster Schools Championship in St Kieran's College yesterday, the James Stephens man accepted that it's the management's job to have the team prepared.
"I won't put my finger on exactly what it was, but it's always the responsibility of management to ensure that you are going out there ready to play," Cody is quoted saying by the Irish Independent.
"Essentially, it was my responsibility. And the responsibility of the management team working together is to do as much as humanly possible to make us more competitive next year.
"That's going to be difficult obviously, because the level of competition out there now is very, very serious, which is great."
On the availability of Michael Fennelly next season, he added: "He wants to play, and everyone wants him to, of course. He has a history of unfortunate injuries but, look, in his head he's hoping that he'll get on with it and get stuck into it again."