McGeeney calls it as he sees it

KIERAN McGeeney has never been one to hide from the truth so there was little surprise when he explained his reasons as to why his Kildare were so comfortably beaten by Dublin in Croke Park last Sunday.

KIERAN McGeeney has never been one to hide from the truth so there was little surprise when he explained his reasons as to why his Kildare were so comfortably beaten by Dublin in Croke Park last Sunday.

“We won’t know whether there will be any lasting effects until next week or the weeks thereafter,” admitted McGeeney.

“We did okay in the first half and just okay; we could have been a few points up if we had played smarter football but then it went from bad to worse.

“Probably midfield was our main problem area; we just couldn’t get a foothold in it and get a break or win any primary possession.

“In all parts of the second half we just couldn’t get our hands on the ball and to such an extent I actually feel sorry for our defenders; in one-on-one situations they competed well but there was so much ball coming in with runners coming from everywhere.”

Whilst also admitting that the wind that swept through Croke Park was also influential, rather surprisingly was McGeeney’s admission that Dublin are far ahead of the rest of their Leinster rivals.

“Dublin are a fair bit ahead of us and that is where we need to get to if we are to exist,” said McGeeney.

“That is the bench mark in Leinster for all us of who are chasing Dublin and looking at it today we have a fair bit of work to do.”

The Armagh native, in his sixth year in charge of Kildare, also confirmed his reasons for not playing any of those panellists who played with the county U-21s in Navan last Wednesday.

“Fergal (Conway) has a bit of an injury so he didn’t even tog out today. For a lot of those (U21) fellas, they had three games in a week, the likes of Niall Kelly, even Daniel (Flynn). It’s not really fair on them to ask them to play a fourth game in ten days.

“You just can’t ask that of people but they’re pushing hard for places both on the senior and the U-21s and hopefully they’ll get better.”

There was however, according to McGeeney, better news on the injury front, which coincided with first appearances of the season, albeit from the bench, for both Hugh Lynch and Eamonn Callaghan,

“Daryl (Flynn) was back playing for the club (Moorefield) yesterday and put in a half and did okay. Hughie (Lynch) came on today and will probably feel himself he was well off the pace. Dermot (Earley) actually got injured in the warm-up. His back went into a bit of spasm.

“We’ve a few problems in that area (midfield). It wouldn’t be fair to say just eight and nine, the break ball was a problem today for us, (Paul) Flynn must have picked up seven or eight on his own. It’s an area we need to work on.

“It was good to see Leper back, he got on the ball well, he did well when he came in.”

While Kildare have suffered days like this before in Croke Park, McGeeney however isn’t panicking.

“I told them to keep their heads up, these things happen. Dublin have been on the receiving end of a few those too, so has everybody, that’s what happens especially league football.”

-John Ryan