Sunday 18 March 2018

Roscommon boss Evans rejects reports of rift before Sligo defeat

Roscommon manager John Evans
Roscommon manager John Evans

Daragh Small

Roscommon manager John Evans has rubbished claims of a row in the camp before and after their shock Connacht semi-final defeat to Sligo.

Stories have been circulating in Roscommon that there was disquiet over the team selected to play Sligo, but Evans said there is no substance to them.

Roscommon, who face Cavan in the All-Ireland qualifiers today in Kingspan Breffni Park, were expected to present a strong challenge to Mayo's four-year reign in Connacht.

But they never got the chance after being stunned by 1-14 to 0-13 by Sligo and now face championship elimination unless they can repeat last year's qualifier win over Cavan.

Evans, in an interview with Shannonside FM, said there was no substance to rumours of disquiet in the camp.

"They are total rubbish. Roscommon is no different to Kerry or Cork or any of these and when things go wrong people fabricate these stories but they are absolute rubbish.

"There is a wonderful atmosphere in our training camp every night and fellas are going as hard as ever and guys are pushing each other," he said.

Evans said they carried a lot of injuries into the game after a tough league campaign which saw them promoted for the second year running and next season will see them back in the top flight.


He said it was only natural that injured players would want to play in a big match, but that wasn't possible.

"All these guys wanted to play but couldn't play and we wouldn't be allowed to play for one reason and another. But that's sport and you just have to take it on the chin," said Evans

"On the Tuesday Donie Shine got concussed and while he wanted to play and was playing terribly, terribly well, we couldn't allow him to play because of concussion. We had carried a lot of injuries into the game."

Roscommon beat Cavan by 0-16 to 0-5 in Breffni Park last year but Evans admitted it would be a tough challenge to repeat.

"Getting them away again, two years in a row to go back up there and try and defeat Cavan is going to be an awesome task but the bigger challenge the better, this Roscommon team has responded all year," the Rossies boss added.

"It is a serious challenge and it was very daunting when we heard the draw but all year we have been up for the challenge and that has put an extra zip in training."

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