Monday 19 August 2019

'You don't have to be a genius to figure out improvements have to be made' - Rossies boss expects more from team

Roscommon manager Anthony Cunningham. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Roscommon manager Anthony Cunningham. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Sean McGoldrick

Roscommon football boss Anthony Cunningham says his team will have to do better in the midfield exchanges to have a chance of dethroning Connacht champions Galway in the first of the provincial finals on Sunday week in Salthill.

Even though his side ended a 33 year wait for a championship win over Mayo in Castlebar in the semi-final last month, Cunningham said huge improvement will be needed in the side's performance.

"You don't have to be a genius to figure out where the improvements have to be made. We took a lesson that night on kick-outs. Mayo are probably the best team in the country at closing you down.

"They really bossed us  particularly in the first half on our kick outs. We also wanted to create more scoring chances.

"But I suppose we were a small bit more efficient when we did get the chances (against Mayo). But there was nothing in it," he said.

Meanwhile Cunningham – who is bidding to become the first manager to win provincial titles in different codes – confirmed that Enda Smith will be fit for selection.

Smith didn't start the Leitrim game but came on as a substitute against Mayo and kicked a crucial second half point and was also involved in the move which culminated in Fintan Cregg scoring the winning point

"He got a fracture on the base of his index finger (before the Leitrim game). He actually played a bit for a night or two and didn't realise that it was it was as bad.

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"The first MRI scan didn't didn't pick up the fracture. The second MRI scan needed a dye. It showed up a small fracture there. He lost out on a week or two (in training) as a result," explained Cunningham.

The squad has no other injury concerns ahead of their fourth consecutive Connacht final appearance.

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