WHEN you get hit you have two options. One can lie down or one can stand up. The latter, says Kieran McGeeney, applies to his side after they came out on top after an epic battle in Navan last Saturday evening.
His side were pushed hard by Meath in Pairc Tailteann and tensions were high but not once did Kildare lose control, not once was the panic button pressed. Indeed one wonders if this Kildare team even knows what a panic button is.
“It was a good performance and one that we hope will definitely stand to us. We need battles like that when you’re trying to get where we want to. It was a right royal battle and it’s great to come out the right side of it. We had a whole lot of things going against us there in the second half and we overcame it. I don’t think our quality was as good as I would have liked but considering the conditions and the atmosphere it was still a good performance,” admitted Kieran McGeeney at full time.
He added: “We knew coming here it was going to be physical and we knew what way we had to react if that happened. The lads put the scores on the board when it counted and our subs coming on did their jobs very well.”
For the second week in succession McGeeney’s resigned one of his best friends to defeat. Last week it was Justin McNulty and last Saturday it was Paul Grimely. Not easy, says McGeeney, but at the end of the day he has a job to do.
“Days like today can be difficult enough. Paul (Grimley) is a very good friend of mine, same with Justin (McNulty) last week and you don’t take any pleasure in seeing your friends beaten. You have to do your job though,” remarked the Armagh man.
Yet again the Lilies came good in the second half when it matters most but McGeeney doesn’t care too much for that statistic and reiterates that it would be impossible for his side to play at full throttle for the entirety of any given game.
“Teams come now with the impression that the time to get Kildare is at the start and teams will raise their game and throw everything at us from the start. There seems to be an expectation out there that we can control the game for 70 minutes, which is an impossibility. When your purple patch happens is irrelevant because it’s going to happen no matter how poor you are. So as I said people come and try throw everything at us at the start and we hope they fold and tell our fellas to keep working because it’s a 75 minute game,” he insisted.
Neither does the Mullaghbawn man care too much for records, namely his record in the qualifiers as a manager.
“It could be a different story next week and I don’t care too much for records. You have to take every game on it’s own merits. We’re now playing Donegal or Derry and we know we’re going to have a tough time regardless of where it is or who it is,” added McGeeney.
The Lilies remain in bloom. It’s on to the fourth and final round to a meeting with beaten Ulster finalists Derry and one thing is for sure – McGeeney’s men won’t be lying down anytime soon.
“It’s like someone hitting you. You can stand up or lie down and we’re trying to get the fellas to stand up. We feel there is much more football in us. It’s hard every week when we’re told we’re not natural footballers. We just try to keep on going and the thing about being a pundit is you’re eventually going to be right,” said the boss.