Friday 19 January 2018

McNulty braced for stern Red Hands examination

Daragh Conchir

Justin McNulty admits that there has been no time to delve too deeply into why Laois lost to neighbours Kildare last Sunday -- their first defeat of the Allianz Football League campaign -- because of the presence of what he considers an even tougher examination lying around the corner.

Right now, as the league enters an intensive and critical period, the thought processes are focused firmly on what Laois need to do to improve.

With a turnaround of just six days, there has been little opportunity to analyse proceedings in Newbridge, and McNulty is of the opinion that Tyrone represent an even stiffer test of his players' credentials.

"We did a lot of things well against Kildare and there are a lot of things we need to improve and work on, but we can't really be looking back on that game because we have another very big game coming up on Saturday night that we have to be ready for," McNulty emphasised.

"Tyrone are a very tough team. We'll have to be at a level higher than we've been at any stage this year so far."

McNulty reports "a few little niggles" after last week's keenly-contested clash. Conor Boyle was a late withdrawal from the team after suffering a broken thumb in a "training accident" and will be out of action for between four and six weeks.

Padraig McMahon (leg) is still unavailable but is getting nearer to full fitness, while Mark Timmons was a late sub last Sunday and is sure to be pushing for selection. Certainly, Laois will need as strong a squad as possible in this busy period.

"That's what Gaelic football is all about -- playing competitive games against quality opposition," he said. "You have to get on with it and look to the next challenge."

Irish Independent

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