It's 'Early' days but Conor believes Louth are on the right path
Midfielder Conor Early conceded that Louth have plenty to work on before they welcome Longford to Drogheda in two weeks' time after giving the midlanders a big head-start in Pearse Park on Saturday.
The Oliver Plunkett's man was played a key role in Louth's second-half revival after coming off the bench to partner Tommy Durnin in midfield as the Reds overturned a six-point deficit. In the end Early and his colleagues were disappointed not to register their second win of the campaign, which would have earned them a semi-final date with Westmeath.
'At half-time we knew we were below par, so I think we have to take the positives from the second-half,' he said.
'We got back into it, we got the scores back and played well. We're a bit disappointed that we didn't win it at the end, but we'll take the positives and move on. We play them again in two weeks and we've a lot to work on.'
That poor start ultimately came back to haunt Louth and after a similar glitch against Wicklow, Early admitted it was something they had discussed before the game.
'It was similar to the Wicklow game where we started slowly and obviously that was something we focused on, and it just didn't happen again. Once we do get going we know we can compete with any team, but when you're playing a good team like Longford you're going to get punished for your mistakes and the majority of their scores did come from our mistakes.
'Once we got the goal we knew we were up and running, but Longford got their goal before half-time and to be fair to the lads they dug deep.
'I thought we would have kicked on when we went ahead, but it didn't happen. We were up against it being a point down with a couple of minutes to go, but we used the ball well and got Decky [Byrne] on the ball. Little things like that maybe show we are learning.
'We'll take positives from putting 1-16 on the board, but they put up 1-16 too. We'll go back to the drawing board with what we've learned from the last few games.'
Having left the squad mid-campaign last year, Early is lookin forward to trying to nail down a regular spot this term.
'It's my first proper year involved, I left for America last year half way through. But coming into this year I had more of an idea what to expect and all the lads have been great.
'Touch wood I can stay injury free and it's all about the Longford game now. Wayne is a really good manager along with the two guys and we're learning a lot. We'd be confident now, so we'll just keep the heads down and get on with it.
'Ideally you want to start with two or three wins and we know if you don't get that you're going to struggle confidence-wise and momentum-wise. 'We'll be fully focused on the Longford game and we've a lot to work on in the meantime.'