Anthony Daly says new Galway hurling manager Shane O'Neill has a difficult task in replacing All-Ireland winning boss Micheal Donoghue, stressing the need for improved home form in 2020.
In what was a turbulent off-season for the westerners, O'Neill was installed as Galway manager in November, a full three months after Donoghue's abrupt resignation.
The ex-Na Piarsaigh boss has assembled a backroom team containing former Limerick Under-21 manager John Fitzgerald, as well as retired Galway hurlers David Forde and Fergal Healy.
For Daly, a difficulty may arise in the challenge of succeeding a "perceived messiah" in Donoghue, who guided Galway to the long-awaited All-Ireland title in 2017.
The outgoing manager enjoyed a hugely successful reign, but one which ended on a bum note with their shock early exit in 2019, when an unlikely sequence of results saw them turfed out of the championship despite collecting five points in the Leinster round robin.
While it was a loss in the pressurised hothouse of Parnell Park that ultimately ended their summer, in reality, it was their shaky home displays earlier in the championship that really did for their chances. Daly sees addressing their Salthill woes as key in 2020.
"I know Shane fairly well. I marked him a few times He'd be very well respected. He'd obviously be loved in Na Piarsaigh for all he achieved," Daly said on the RTÉ GAA podcast.
"He's a high achiever in life as well. He'll be very professional in the way he goes about things. The backroom team has good ex-players and his own guys.
"They were poor at home last year. Ultimately, the Carlow game cost them score-wise. They didn't beat Carlow to the same extent that the other teams did. The failed to beat Wexford in that drawn match, a very poor game.
"They played great stuff below in Nowlan Park, probably put too much emphasis on that and didn't seem to have much in the locker for Parnell, which was always going to be tough.
"It's a tough task going in after a perceived messiah of sorts in Micheal Donoghue, who broke the long, long gap back to the Cyril Farrell teams.
"The general consensus was that Micheal wanted to stay on, but that he wasn't happy with some of his working relationships with some on the board.
"Their home form would have to improve hugely. They've Kilkenny and Dublin at home. They'll be saying to themselves, 'we have to get four points at home'. That's the key thing."