Sunday 21 January 2018

Roscommon will need two more wins to be safe - Cregg

Cathal Cregg. Photo: Paul Mohan/Sportsfile
Cathal Cregg. Photo: Paul Mohan/Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Cathal Cregg has targeted another two Division 1 wins as a necessity for Roscommon to realise their ambition of remaining in the top flight.

Roscommon joint-manager Kevin McStay has repeatedly stated that his team must earn their right to be considered a Division 1 team and they took a considerable step towards that with victory against Kerry in Killarney.

The experienced forward, who landed four high-class points in difficult conditions, feels six points will be required in the division if they are to survive.

"For us to stay up this year will be huge," Cregg admitted. "We will probably need to win another two games to stay up, which will be a big task for us. But this is where you want to be playing."

Tyrone were relegated in 2015 despite picking up five points from a win against Mayo and draws against Dublin, Kerry and Derry so the stakes are high.

Roscommon were able to reduce the number of unforced errors in the second half against Kerry as they learned lessons from their defeat to Monaghan in Kiltoom a week earlier.

"When you make mistakes, you get punished for it. And we made a lot of mistakes out there. There are harsh lessons at this level," he admitted.


"Last week we were a point up with 70 minutes gone and ended up losing by four to Monaghan. It was very tight again against Kerry but, thankfully, we held on. Two points on the board after two games and that is where we wanted to be," he said.

"We didn't want to be facing into the three-week break without a win. That would have put us under pressure, particularly after last weekend when we felt we threw the game away.

"It was important for us to get points on the board early. It is the first time we have been in Division 1 for 13 years and to come down to a county like Kerry and win and to see the delight of supporters out there, it's great."

Adjustments have been required on the sideline too.

Roscommon struggled in the air at midfield against David Moran and Johnny Buckley for much of the game and that was one of their main concerns prior to this campaign, as expressed by McStay.

But his counterpart Fergie O'Donnell felt they got the timing of Cathal Shine's introduction right this week and he made an impact in that area.

"Last week we were worried about bringing Cathal Shine on because he hadn't the fitness work done. On Sunday, we said we were going for it. We couldn't have brought him on any earlier."

Irish Independent

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