Friday 23 February 2018

Ryan seeks improvement

Liam Kelly

Liam Kelly

WEXFORD football manager Jason Ryan will look for an improved display from his team in Sunday's O'Byrne Shield game against Longford.

His side looked odds-on to cause an upset in the championship rehearsal at Parnell Park on Sunday when Dublin had Eoghan O'Gara sent off after 30 minutes for a foul on David Murphy.

But once Wexford centre-forward Brian Malone also got his marching orders for a second yellow card three minutes after half-time, it was a different story and Dublin went on to win by eight points (2-10 to 0-8).

"Obviously I'm biased about Brian Malone, but in lots of games, if he got one of those yellow cards I'd be disappointed, so I'm very disappointed with him being sent off," Ryan said.

"If we'd had him playing as a free man in the second half, he would have had a big impact, and we lost that possible impact.

"It certainly hurt us. When he went off it was like a kick in the backside for a lot of the boys and they seemed to take their foot off the pedal. There was no spring in our step at all. Lack of fitness? Lack of hunger? I don't know, but it's something we can work on.

"The reality is that there's an awful long way to go until June 13, when we play Dublin in the championship. There's plenty of other things, such as giving away 26 balls in the first half, but that will improve with training."

Ryan is looking for the new players, including the impressive Ben Brosnan, Joey Wadding, Conor Carty and Daithi Waters to freshen up the Wexford panel as they seek to hit the form of 2008 when they got to the Leinster final and the All-Ireland semi-final.

Irish Independent

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