McEnaney confident of Farney survival
Published 06/03/2010 | 05:00
MONAGHAN manager Seamus McEnaney's message is simple.
Two games into the NFL Division 1 campaign, the Farney men find themselves pointless.
Tomorrow in the unusual setting of Inniskeen, they host Tyrone, who have also yet to get off the mark this season, and McEnaney knows where his side need to improve.
"You'd be satisfied with the scores we have put up but you'd be disappointed with what we conceded. Some people may say that if you score 3-12 you'd win most games but if you concede 3-13 you'll win no games," said McEnaney, referencing the scoreline in the opening-day defeat to Cork.
Monaghan have established themselves as one of the most difficult teams to beat in the country, so the concession of heavy scores will cause concern, but McEnaney is convinced that they will get it right.
"The past few weeks we have been working on the defensive side of our game," he said. "We've played two matches and performed to a reasonable standard but didn't win either. But the big plus for Monaghan is that we have used seven debutants in those two games and a lot of lads played quite well and that's encouraging."
Monaghan landed a major coup by recruiting Armagh's Paul Grimley to their backroom team during the winter -- with Martin McElkennon already on board, they now boast two of the most respected trainers in the country. "We're trying out a few things. It's the national football league -- it's important certainly but you also have to try out a few things," said McEnaney.
"We're in a higher division than we have been and that's a factor. The opposition is top-quality. We're tweaking a few things but we're very satisfied with the commitment and the fitness of players, but we're falling a bit short at the moment but hopefully that will come right."
For the moment, retaining Division 1 status is the priority. Eoin Lennon and Mark Downey are long-term absentees but with Stephen Gollogly, Dessie Mone and Rory Woods expected to be back in the panel this weekend, McEnaney is confident they can secure their top-flight status.
"I think Monaghan need six points to stay in Division 1. There's still 10 points available and I believe we'll get six out of those 10," he said. "I said on the first day I managed Monaghan that they'd be best served in Division 1. If you want to be in contention at championship time of year, you need to be playing in Division 1."
A limited number of tickets are still on general sale from Ticketmaster for tomorrow's encounter.