SLIGO SLAIN – BUT LENNON SEEKS IMPROVEMENTS

5 April 2012 No Comments by The Northern Standard

MONAGHAN 4-18
SLIGO 2-10

JOHN GRAHAM reports

Monaghan hurling manager Mattie Lennon, following last Sunday’s win over Sligo, is focussing on the areas where Monaghan can still improve as they prepare for their NHL Division 3 Final against Fingal.
Monaghan struggled to find their form in the first half against Sligo andpart of the problem was the fact that after setting up good moves, players appeared to be trying to manufacture goal chances when points were there for the taking.
“Yes I suppose that’s true, some of our decision-making in the first half maybe wasn’t the best. We did speak about getting goals but there were times when we could have taken a point instead of looking for the goals but I can’t be too critical.
“We did talk about that prior to the game but overall our work rate in the second half was much better than in the first-half because in the first half we didn’t work as hard as we could have or indeed should have. In the second-half things improved greatly and we turned them over repeatedly and we created the opportunities and more importantly we took them.”
Monaghan were reduced to fourteen players during the first half when Mickey McHugh was issued with a straight red card for an alleged off the ball strike. His absence didn’t materially affect the result on Sunday but Monaghan will have to reckon without his services for the final.
“Unfortunately that is the truth, we will have to probably plan without him. I have to say I didn’t see the incident so I’m not too sure what it was for but when he got a straight red he has to miss at least one match so in that way we will have to plan without him. At the same time that is what the panel is for, we have other players there who can step up to the mark and show what they can do, its an opportunity for them.”
Mattie Lennon agreed that while on the face of it Sligo had very little to play for coming to Inniskeen but they played as if their lives depended on it in the first half.
“They certainly did although I’m not sure if they had won they might possibly have avoided a relegation play-off and they did really put it up to us in the first half.
“As I said it took us to get to half time to get things sorted and get the lads refocused and go out and realise they were in a match and that they had to up their performance big time. In fairness to the lads though I have to say they did that in the second-half.”
Monaghan are now looking forward to the final in two weeks time, on Sunday week, April 15th which gives two weeks to prepare for what will be another big test.
“Yes the final is listed two weeks from today when we will be playing Fingal. We don’t know where the game will be played yet, that will be decided later on but it gives us two weeks to work on our game and we have things to …

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