MANAGER MALACHY O’ROURKE KEEN TO KEEP EVERYTHING IN CONTEXT

4 March 2016 No Comments by The Northern Standard

BY PATRICK SMYTH

Although disappointed to see his side lose out at Croker, Monaghan manager Malachy O’Rourke was as philosophical as he was realistic in his analysis of last weekend’s NFL Division One thriller.

“In the first 25 minutes in particular we would be very pleased with how the boys played because we were using the ball well and hit some great scores,” O’Rourke commented after the game.

“But then after that we would be disappointed with the way we used the ball at times and lost possession and we allowed Dublin get in the ascendancy again and they outscored us in the second quarter and for 10 minutes into the second half by 1-8 or 1-9 to two points. That was disappointing, but in fairness to the boys they dug in then and we started to get to grips with things again.”

The Monaghan boss highlighted the good work of his defence but conceded “we could have at least got a draw out of it but you’re left with the feeling that if we had played all through to the best of our ability we could have got a win tonight.”

Looking forward to having a full hand to deal with in the coming weeks, O’Rourke was adamant that it would be a case of keeping one’s shoulder to the wheel and working as hard as ever.

There was certainly no shame in losing out to the Dubs in their own backyard, the Fermanagh native added, and everything ought to be looked at in context:

“To keep it in context, there is no doubt Dublin is the best team in the country at the moment and they have proved that over and over again because they don’t lose very many matches in league or championship, so we have to keep these things in context.

“This is a game at the end of February and Dublin and all these top teams will get a lot stronger as the year goes on, so it was important for ourselves to realise that Dublin are the benchmark for every team.”

And his approach to the game beforehand?

“We wanted to come down and test ourselves against them,” O’Rourke explained.

“We had four points out of two matches before we came here, but we felt we hadn’t played particularly well in those games although we …

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