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McGeeney pleased to reap what he sows but gaze stays fixed on summer

It felt like liberation day for Kildare football but Kieran McGeeney certainly wasn't marketing it as anything like that.

Their first meaningful piece of silverware in his four-and-a-half-year stewardship would do little more than entitle his players to a good night out somewhere, he ventured. But beyond that?

"Taking a lot for the summer out of what happens late spring is a dangerous thing. Armagh beat Down in 2010 in a Division 2 final and Down went on to an All-Ireland final. Armagh were out early, which people soon forget," said McGeeney.

"It was a good performance and we are happy with that. It's nice to get some silverware 'cos I know most of ye (media) were looking for it more than me there at one stage. It was a good performance and we're happy with that.

"In terms of how much forward we are, we are not going to be measured on that until the summer no matter what we do. It would be nice to think you were (going forward), but come Offaly, that's when we'll measure it."

Was there not even relief that a deal has at last been closed.

"Probably not. It's not peripheral, everyone wants silverware but that type of pressure is external rather than internal," added McGeeney.

"Everyone plays football for the one reason, to win as many competitions as you can, but there is a prioritising of those competitions as well, and everyone wants to play well in the summer.

"People go on about tradition but to me that's just another word for belief and being part of a set-up that talks about winning all the time.

"Kildare isn't that, despite what people think. They haven't been a football powerhouse these last 70 years anyway, so getting into a habit of winning on big days is important.

"They have been close enough but close enough is never good enough in sport. You have to be that millimetre or yard ahead of everyone else and hopefully this will help towards that."

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte acknowledged the superiority of Kildare but was disappointed that his charges had not mounted a more sustained challenge.

"It's always a setback when you lose. But you know a winning streak doesn't go on forever," he said.

"I suppose the lesson is that what goes on in the past, teams will watch what you do and they'll be able to counteract your style of play.

"The players that we have involved, a number of them relatively new to what we are trying to do, have to learn not only to play the game the way you want to play it but to be able to do that in the face of an opposition who may try to stop you doing what you're doing.

"I know in the past we've learned an awful lot from defeats, and defeats in finals. If that continues, we'll be okay. If we can do as well after this defeat as we did after some of the others, then I'll take that."

Irish Independent