Thursday 19 April 2018

Defections, doubters and droughts

"It’s a very simple thing for me – do you want to play for Roscommon or do you not? It’s disappointing that I have to spend time talking to my players and the media about it. We should be talking about the players who are here." Stock photo: Sportsfile
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

Things they say - act 1: "It's a very simple thing for me - do you want to play for Roscommon or do you not? It's disappointing that I have to spend time talking to my players and the media about it. We should be talking about the players who are here" - Kevin McStay, Roscommon manager, commenting on Niall Daly's decision to quit the panel last week after being omitted for the game with Donegal.

The problem is that having undergone so much change - on and off the pitch - since last year's championship exit against Clare, it's difficult to avoid the conclusion that is all is far from being well in the state of Roscommon.

THINGS THEY SAY - ACT 2

"If it didn't work for us today, it would have been the usual, 'Ah yeah, Kildare were very good last week and now they are back to themselves', so I think we proved a lot of the doubters wrong"- Cian O'Neill, Kildare manager, after his team followed up on their win over Meath with success against Cork. Surely he realises that two wins come nowhere close to making any impression on the Lilywhites' doubters?

Read more: Ignore noise - match officials get it right

THINGS THEY SAY - ACT 3

"We had five (points) from 15 chances in the second half. Five from 15, when you have the wind, that's just not good enough. We have to start improving and improving fast." - Eoin O'Neill, Cork selector, after the defeat by Kildare. Quoting stats, provided by a battalion of assistants, is quite common among managements of losing teams as they seek to explain away defeats. It calls for the obvious riposte: 'Don't tell us how many things went wrong, tell us why.'

Read more: Time for operation transformation

THINGS THEY SAY - ACT 4

"We had a very strong second half but we just couldn't get in for a goal" - Eamonn Burns, Down manager, after the defeat by Clare. No surprise in that understatement, since Down have scored only two goals in their last 10 league games.

Irish Independent

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