Friday 15 December 2017

More work to be done in Armagh, warns McConville

Oisin McConville
Oisin McConville
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Armagh legend Oisin McConville believes there is more work to be done in the county as they look to get their championship campaign back on track this weekend.

The Orchard welcome Wicklow to the Athletic Grounds tomorrow afternoon as they seek to bounce back from their disappointing defeat at the hands of Donegal in the Ulster Championship.

With Kieran McGeeney taking charge after they reached the All-Ireland quarter-final last year, Armagh were tipped for a big year but McConville believes it may be time for the county to recalibrate their hopes for the summer.

"They felt as if they were very prepared for the (Donegal) game. A lot of work has gone into that Armagh team," the Crossmaglen man offered.

"But maybe there were signs there that the performance was coming. Because they struggled to put Fermanagh away twice. We finished the league with a disappointing result against Sligo. And we had

a disappointing performance and result against Cork in a recent challenge match.


"So maybe in many ways the writing has been on the wall. And maybe this is where we're at. Maybe we shouldn't be challenging the likes of Donegal at this moment in time.

"Maybe there's more work to be done."

McConville also insisted it's too early to make judgments on McGeeney's spell as manager, though the 2002 All-Ireland-winning captain boasted a remarkable back-door record with Kildare during his time there.

Wicklow provide familiar opposition with tomorrow's meeting the fourth between the sides since 2011. The Garden men were gutsy when pushing Meath hard in Navan in their Leinster Championship clash and McConville sees this game as the perfect chance for the players to get their campaign back on track.

"When Armagh turned up at the weekend I expected the best-prepared Armagh team in six or seven years and physically they probably were.

"It's almost like we were so wrapped up in what we had to do to beat Donegal - tactics, the white board, video analysis - it's almost as if we forgot to play. You could see it from the opening minute; basic errors.

"The other side of the coin is the players have to take a lot of the flak for what went on. It's one thing managing but when you send players out there you have to perform. That was the one thing that let Armagh down, they went out and they weren't able to perform for whatever reason."

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