Longford’s inability to produce a decent performance for the full 70 minutes is something that has frustrated manager Jack Sheedy during this league campaign. Sunday was no different and he was critical of their first half display in the defeat against Sligo.
“We were poor in the first half; never got to the pace of the game. We made too many simple mistakes. The second half was certainly a big improvement but we should have got more out of the game; the few scores that we did concede were disappointing. We didn’t meet the standards that we have set for ourselves,” he told the Leader.
Trailing by six points at the break, Longford upped their performance in the second half and could have got something out of the game. Two poor refereeing decisions went against them in the closing stages with Paul Barden fouled twice and no free awarded either time.
Sheedy said, “It’s not acceptable. There were decisions both ways especially when the game was at its peak in the second half. The standard of refereeing was atrocious. It’s not good enough. Paul Barden went through and had the ball in his possession and ended up on the ground. He sustained a broken nose and a black eye and he didn’t even get a free.”
Next Sunday is a make or break clash in Wexford with the loser being relegated to Division 4. Sheedy knows what’s required: “We have to go to Wexford and win the game. That’s the bottom line. Wexford are tough opponents and will prove difficult to beat. We need to play for 70 minutes, that’s it.”
The question Longford supporters are asking is will any of the U-21s be in contention to face Wexford after none of them were included in the squad against Sligo. “They are not ready for it yet; they haven’t had the level of preparation that the seniors have had. We will be bringing some of them in but it’s a huge step-up,” said Sheedy.