Monday 23 April 2018

McNulty shoulders blame for Laois slump

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Laois football manager Justin McNulty has made the frank admission that his team's slump in Division 2 is all his fault.

Fresh from another defeat in the second tier of the NFL that leaves them with just three points from a possible eight after four rounds, McNulty admitted that he would personally have to go "back to the drawing board" to assess why he is not maximising the potential of his team.

Laois began the league impressively with a win over Armagh at home but since then have lost to Derry and Westmeath either side of a draw with Louth.

"I'd have to wonder what it is that I am doing wrong," said McNulty candidly after a disappointing defeat in Mullingar. "The responsibility lies here with me fully.

"My job is to get the team to play, for the team to perform and execute the basic skills and I wasn't able to achieve that. I have to ask myself why.

"I must be doing something wrong. I must go back and rethink what I am doing. I have to bring something different because the team at the moment aren't performing. So I have to change my approach some way."

McNulty doesn't believe that tactically he has got it wrong but has to find out why his team have been so flat in their last two games especially.

"I wouldn't necessarily say the tactics were wrong but the team didn't perform," he said.

"That's my job to get them to perform, and I didn't do that so I have to find out why that is. I have to challenge myself.

"The performance wasn't good enough and I take full responsibility."

McNulty was critical of the decision to award Westmeath a penalty but stressed that he wasn't apportioning blame anywhere else for the defeat.

Laois looked like favourites to go back up to the top flight after the first round but face a difficult test against Galway next weekend to restore those flagging promotion prospects.

Meanwhile, Kildare may have Dermot Earley available to them for next weekend's trip to Mayo to provide options for a flagging midfield.

With manager Kieran McGeeney aware that they lost two-thirds of their own kick-outs to Dublin in Sunday's league match, Earley's return would be timely.

Earley, who hasn't featured for Kildare for the last two seasons, was with the squad on Sunday but hurt his back in the warm-up.

Daryl Flynn played half a club match with Moorefield at the weekend but is still some way off match fitness at this level.

Irish Independent

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