Saturday 22 October 2016

O'Dowd worth another term but go easy on the excuses

mick o'dowd
mick o'dowd

ON balance, this column believes Mick O'Dowd (pictured) deserves another chance and another term.

He has restored a semblance of order to a Meath senior set-up previously beset by chaos. They have attained a degree of league consistency, edging closer to one of O'Dowd's stated aims - becoming a top-eight team. The message from captain Donal Keogan is that the players want him to stay. But?

Based on the ultimate summer arbiter, Meath's form graph has fallen steeply from the 2013 high of a battling Leinster final defeat to Dublin - when they led at half-time but lost by seven.

Last year's Leinster final implosion to the same foe, and especially this year's collapse to Westmeath, have seriously weakened O'Dowd's grip.

The injury-blighted Conor Gillespie has been a big loss, but to talk up the significance of one individual's absence reads like an embattled manager trying too hard to explain. And when you're explaining, you're losing.

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