Monday 11 December 2017

Tobin calls for more consistency from hit-and-miss Royals

'Tobin (pictured) wants his side to maintain a consistent level of performance for their remaining three matches.' Photo: Sportsfile
'Tobin (pictured) wants his side to maintain a consistent level of performance for their remaining three matches.' Photo: Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Meath defender Donnacha Tobin has called on the Royals to deliver a more consistent level of performance for the remainder of their League campaign.

Meath's up-and-down season took another twist on Sunday when they edged out reigning Connacht champions Galway in Navan, just eight days after losing to a Down side who hadn't won a game in 22 months.

And Tobin wants his side to maintain that level of performance for their remaining three matches.

"It's about getting the consistency, that's what we are striving for from now on and for the rest of the League," said the Blackhall Gaels clubman.

"There are a lot of new lads on the panel who are trying to get used to our way of playing and they are starting to get more comfortable with it, and I think you saw it (against Galway).

"There was belief until the very end that we could get the result we needed. I think the consistency will come, we just need to work on that."

Tobin's return to the defence after an elbow injury along with that of Padraic Harnan has given the Royals a more compact look in defence as Andy McEntee's squad edges back towards full strength.

Mickey Newman, Fiachra Ward and Shane and James McEntee could all come back into the reckoning for the trip to Cork on Sunday week.

And Tobin believes that the Royals have a new depth to their panel.

"When you are breaking in in your first season or two it's a learning curve but it's great for (the young players) to be getting so many minutes in the League and that is going to massively stand to us," he said.

"Throughout the O'Byrne Cup and the League a hell of a lot of lads have got game-time which is massive. The way intercounty football is now you need not 21 but 30 or 35 of a strong panel of lads all pushing themselves and each other on. We have that.

"The 26 that were named (against Galway), any one of them could have played and we would have got the same result. And there are lads at home who were the same who are only raring to go, so that is driving everyone on."

And while Division 2 is wide open at both ends of the table, Tobin refused to look past the clash with the Rebels.

"(Division 1) is where we want to be obviously but we are not looking that far ahead," he said.

"Division 2 is a very, very tight division. Our sights over the next two weeks won't go any further than Cork. It will be a very tough game and we will have to have our absolute 'A' game to take that one.

"That's our sole focus: you can't look too far ahead, you can't say 'we want to get to Division 1 or we want to do this and that'. Our sole focus is Cork for the next two weeks."

Irish Independent

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