League Sunday analyst Martin McHugh has branded the Meath footballers as "soft" following their relegation to the Allianz Football League Division 3.

The Royals were beaten by nine points by Louth on Sunday to drop to the third tier of the league after five defeats from seven matches.

Manager Seamus McEnaney is under huge pressure following the outcome of the league, but McHugh feels the problem lie deeper in the county’s structure.

"I don’t think he was accepted there in the first place. When he looks backs himself, he may think he shouldn’t have put his name in for the job because Meath people don’t seem to accept an outside manager.

"Meath need to take a long look at themselves. If you look in club football, they’ve been beaten by the so-called weaker teams in Leinster in the Club Championship.

"Their underage teams are not going well at all. I think they need to look at the bigger picture. Now that they are in the third division, the reality has set in."

In one of their better performances of the year, the Royals ran Kildare close in Navan before succumbing to a last-minute defeat that led to further defeats in the division.

McHugh believes a different result in that game could have changed the course of their campaign but feels the players do not have what it takes to compete at the level.

McHugh said: “The Kildare game knocked the stuffing out of them. If they had won that match, you don’t know where they would be. The defeat against Kildare definitely affected them and their confidence. It is understandable with the stick the players are taking in the county as well.

“I think Meath have to take a look at their coaching structures and everything else in the county. It was interesting that Sean Boylan, the most respected man in Meath, stepped down as director of football last week. They are not good enough and that is the bottom line.

“A lot of problems from even away from the senior team. It is up to the clubs and the people of Meath to start producing the players. There is one thing that I have never seen in a Meath team that is in this team – they are soft.

"That’s disappointing because Meath players are never known to be soft. When it got physical, they didn’t count.”