Joe Brolly takes aim at Mickey Harte as Derry's dismal Championship continued against Armagh

Joe Brolly has broken his silence after Derry’s stunning 11-point defeat to Armagh in Celtic on Sunday and has lambasted Mickey Harte and Derry’s “indiscipline” following Ciaran McFaul’s dismissal.

It is the second time in as many matches that Derry finished with 14 players after Gareth McKinless was sent off for standing on Damien Comer’s leg against Galway.

McFaul, who was only on the pitch for 16 minutes, was shown a black card for dragging down Joe McElroy. As he’d already been booked, referee David Coldrick issued a red card.

Read more: Sean Cavanagh column: Derry look divided and they've given up and downed tools since Donegal defeat

Read more: ‘Derry couldn’t live with us’ - Rian O’Neill hails Armagh display as Ciaran Mackin’s ACL injury is confirmed

The loss was Derry’s third consecutive defeat in the 2024 Championship and leaves Harte’s needing to beat Westmeath in their final Group One game to stay in the All-Ireland series.

Many Derry fans are bemused at their sudden loss of form after winning the Division One League title in March.

Speaking after the game, Harte himself seemed at a loss to identity the cause of their woes and suggested it could be a mental problem with the players, something Brolly took issue with.

Posting on X/Twitter, Brolly, who is an outspoken critic of the former Tyrone boss, wrote: “Mickey Harte blaming the Derry players. Not his disastrous keeper/midfielder strategy, pushing up high leaving no cover, giving up 9 terrible goals in 3 games.

“Nor the chronic indiscipline coming from the top. The truth is that Mickey Harte is the rot at the heart of our decay.”

Derry lost out to Donegal in the first round of the Ulster Championship and have lost their opening two games in Group One of the All-Ireland series.

A draw in their final game wouldn’t be enough as Westmeath have a superior scoring difference.

The winners of that game, which will be played at a neutral venue, will be away to one of the second-placed teams in the preliminary quarter-final with Armagh and Galway guaranteed to finish in the top two in Group One.

Goals from Ross McQuillan, Conor Turbitt and Rian O’Neill capped a classy showing for Kieran McGeeney’s men, but Derry still have a chance to progress to the last 12 despite three Championship defeats.

Sign up to our free sports newsletter to get the latest headlines to your inbox