Wednesday 21 February 2018

Pat Flanagan wary of Kildare backlash following Dublin demolition

Offaly manager Pat Flanagan
Offaly manager Pat Flanagan Newsdesk Newsdesk

Offaly manager Pat Flanagan left Croke Park on Sunday none the wiser about Kildare after Dublin put them to the sword. An astute manager, Flanagan knows there is more to Kildare than what met the eye in headquarters.

Kildare were wiped out against the Dubs but Flanagan insists that the quality of the opposition that they faced has to be considered.

"Playing against Dublin was always going to be a difficult assignment," the Offaly boss said. "They will be looking at this game as a chance to re-enter the championship and that will be their focus. Dublin are a very well-tuned team.

"The first five or 10 minutes, Kildare seemed to be going ok but all of a sudden, Dublin just go to a different level. It is difficult to assess Kildare on their performance on Sunday. It will take some team to beat Dublin this year, I think they will win the All Ireland".

Offaly mixed the good with the bad against Waterford in Dungarvan but they will be stepping up in class come Saturday when Kildare, a Division 2 side this year, look to take out Offaly and resurrect their championship hopes.

"We went down to Waterford and performed extremely well for periods in that game but we mixed that with some poor stuff as well. We have to ensure on Saturday that we maintain our quality for the 70 minutes.

"We are coming up against a team that played Division 2 football this year. They are not just going to come to Tullamore on Saturday and roll over. They have plenty of experience in their ranks and they will want to put things right."

Offaly will be sweating over the fitness of leading forward Niall McNamee until later in the week as he continues to recover from a hand injury.

The Rhode clubman missed the win over Waterford, his first time missing a championship match since making his debut at the age of 17 and the Offaly boss is still unsure if he will be able to play on Saturday.

Irish Independent

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