Longford manager Glenn Ryan does not
usually single players out for praise but he had special mention for the forwards after Saturday’s emphatic qualifier win over Cavan at Breffni Park.
In the Leinster championship defeat against Laois Longford kicked 16 wides but on Saturday they were clinical in front of the posts. Ryan was delighted with how they played as a unit but picked out a few players who warranted recognition. “I’m delighted for the forwards,” he told the Leader after the game. “They got a good scoring return. They work as hard as any other forward in the country and they put the time and effort in. I’m delighted for those lads. I thought Brian Kavanagh worked hard all during the game and he got his reward (1-2) in the end. Sean McCormack is another player who has proved that if you keep working hard it will come good.”
He then went on to compliment the captain Paul Barden who has been in fine goalscoring form this year. “He is brilliant, there is no doubt about it. The goals this year disguise the amount of work he does to get there. He is not a poacher; he does not stand around waiting for these things to happen. We get goals because he makes them happen.”
Trailing by one point at the break the Longford boss knew his players were capable of turning the game around and he felt the goals came at crucial times. “The goals came just at the right time for us. They gave us a huge boost and it was demoralising for Cavan. We were unfortunate to be a point down at half-time but we were in great position once we kept to our game plan and we did that.”
Longford made full use of the substitutes bench in the second half and those players made an impact on the game. That was another pleasing thing for Ryan. He said, “I’m delighted with the work-rate but particularly delighted with the attitude of the substitutes that came in. The lads showed great application and great desire to work hard for the team.