Following Longford’s two point defeat against Clare on Sunday last, manager Glenn Ryan couldn’t make any excuses about the performance. The result in Ennis ended Longford’s unbeaten run in the league but with results in other games going their way, Longford’s promotion hopes are still very much in their own hands. Ryan wasn’t happy with the display. “It was a poor performance. There is no excuse for it. We got a bit of a reprieve the way the other results went so. We struggled in various areas. A malaise set into the team from early on that we never got out of. In other games we have gone through ruts which we were able to dig ourselves out of but today we weren’t,” he told the Leader.
Trailing by five points at the break (1-6 to 0-4), they failed to make up that deficit in the second half, despite enjoying dominant spells. Ryan said, “The urgency wasn’t there and neither was the fire that was there in other games. When that’s not there and you are playing poorly it’s going to be an uphill battle. Some days you can play poorly and get through that and the work-rate can overcome it but not today.”
In both halves Longford kicked numerous wides. It was a case of costly missed opportunities. Ryan said, “When the opportunities are created they have to be taken. It’s probably part of the whole thing, when we are struggling up the field it puts extra pressure on the fellas close to goal. It’s something that we have to learn from and something that we have to pick ourselves up for. We have to prepare for a big battle next week.”
Longford now have to put this disappointing defeat behind them and look forward to next weekend’s encounter with Leitrim. It’s a massive game for Longford; anything less than a win and promotion could be gone. Ryan knows how crucial next Sunday’s game is. “It’s a big game with a huge amount at stake. We have a job to do and the importance of the job we have to do the following week against Carlow will depend solely on next Sunday. The opportunity for promotion is still in our own hands. We win our next two games and that’s it,” said the Longford boss.
Adding keen extra interest to the game against Leitrim is the fact that first cousins Shane and Kevin Mulligan and Emlyn Mulligan will be in opposition.