Tuesday 20 November 2018

'They were devoid of ideas' - Colm Cooper and Sean Cavanagh on Kildare's collapse over the last year

Kildare manager Cian O'Neill during Leinster GAA Football Senior Championship Quarter-Final match between Carlow and Kildare at O'Connor Park in Tullamore, Offaly. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Kildare manager Cian O'Neill during Leinster GAA Football Senior Championship Quarter-Final match between Carlow and Kildare at O'Connor Park in Tullamore, Offaly. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Kildare have not won a competitive game since June 17 last year when they put Meath to the sword with ease in Tullamore.

A creditable nine-point defeat in the Leinster final against the mighty Dubs was followed by a three-point defeat to Kieran McGeeney's Armagh in Croke Park.

Cian O'Neill's men were expected to build on last year when they made the move up to the top tier of the league but two O'Byrne Cup defeats were compounded by seven straight league defeats and yesterday's embarrassing defeat to Carlow.

The dramatic slide in the form is a huge concern, according to Colm Cooper on last night's Sunday Game on RTE.

"It's very, very worrying for Kildare supporters. They're nearly gone 12 months without winning a match," he said.

Okay, they were in Division One this year and found it a bit too tough for them but 12 months without a win has to be very tough for Cian O'Neill.

"I watched these guys last year in a Leinster final and for large periods of that Leinster final they were hugely competitive against Dublin. i saw Kevin Feely coming in, Daniel Flynn and a really though Kildare were on the rise but that has completely stalled.

"Division One was always going to be tough because it's a top quality league but they seem to haver no confidence and I'm sure Turlough O'Brien saw that record going into the match and knew their confidence was pretty low.

"It's going to be a really tough task for Cian O'Neill to get things back on track."

For Tyrone legend Sean Cavanagh the most alarming aspect of yesterday's Kildare display was the lack of any coherent plan.

"We talked about Carlow and how well coached they were. Kildare were devoid of ideas when they came up against that blanket defence," he said.

"It's an embarrassment for a county like Kildare that has such depth of talent

"They have three guys that played professionally in the AFL and came back. They're not being utilised."

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