Tuesday 25 October 2016

Kildare have six days to get ready for another battle

Kildare manager Jason Ryan looked traumatised. Who could blame him?

His team had plenty of possession early on. They created chances but squandered them. Or, to put it another way, Dublin put them off their stride.

Jason's team was defeated. It was a heavy defeat. But, with a qualifying match on Saturday, Jason knows the first thing he needs to do is starting rebuilding morale.

"All we can do now is recover physically and mentally and embrace the challenge that we're going to have on Saturday," he said. "Going through the Leinster qualifiers is not a new experience."

Six days is a short time to regroup after yesterday's encounter with the Dublin juggernaut. "We have to get on with it," said Jason. "We're playing against our neighbours, Offaly. They've had a fantastic Division 4 season. There'll be an awful lot of neighbourly rivalry. The Offaly guys will feel that we are wounded. And instead of maybe being wounded and looking for fight, they may be hoping that we'll be limping and won't perform."

What seems to have disappointed Jason most was the comprehensive nature of the defeat, given that "We're more familiar with Dublin than any team in the country."

"Their effectiveness in a tackle, their ability to move the ball, their goal-scoring threat, the strength with which they play at the start and end of each half, there's nothing really new or different there," he said.

"We knew we needed a good first half, a solid foundation," he explained. "They made their scoring chances count and we, unfortunately, didn't execute as well as we needed to to give us the real belief to drive on. "Each of those wides does drain a certain level of confidence and it also gives the opposition confidence in themselves that they are applying sufficient pressure."

Jason had some statistics that offered a crumb of comfort. "In the first half, we got into really good scoring position," he insisted. "Second half as well. We had twenty attacks inside their 45 in the second half. They had twenty attacks inside our 45. We had more attacks in the first half then they did. So we got in there but it's just about making better selections. It wasn't that Dublin were making fantastic blocks, some of our handling and shot selection wasn't as good as it needs to be. But we have a lot of guys there who this is relatively knew for. They don't have a huge amount of championship games under their belt. But they'll learn from it. It's about learning. It takes time."

"It was a good day for Kildare GAA because our minors had a fantastic win against Dublin, putting up a huge score," he added. "It'll be great if they can push on and win a second Leinster title in three years."

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