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Clare senior football manager, Mark Fitzgerald.

‘Everyone has a plan till they get a punch in the mouth’

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Just moments after the full-time whistle the Clare Senior football manager was extremely disappointed with the performance of his side more so than the actual result.
“We didn’t play well at all, whether that’s because Down are a really decent team I don’t know. Look it, Down were good but we were very flat. Even when we got the goal it gave us no real momentum. There was no pace to our play and I’m just disappointed with ourselves. There’s no denying that they are the best team in the division and deserve their promotion. It’s just a pity we couldn’t test them a bit more.”
Once Down got their kick out away short it seemed that we were in trouble and couldn’t cope with their running game.
“We weren’t getting across the pitch quick enough. I mean they got several points direct from their restarts especially in the first half and we tried to address that at half-time but again it goes back to us being flat. Even when we did turn them over we weren’t getting numbers forward. We were stagnant, very stationery and that’s so disappointing because it’s stuff we haven’t done all year. We just never found our feet. We were struggling to stay in the game and we didn’t create chances. We were over reliant on frees and they kicking two points after they received the black card sums up our overall performance.”
The Kerry native has had a very good start to his tenure and is proud of the overall campaign. He just feels that his side are still inexperienced and couldn’t cope with certain aspects and the man from Tralee even quotes a former World Heavyweight boxing champion when summing it up.
“We were coughing up scores from our own kick out which just wasn’t our normal selves and it’s something we haven’t been doing. The game was gone with twenty minutes to play. We tried to adapt but as Mike Tyson famously said ‘Everyone has a plan till they get a punch in the mouth.’ This is learnings for the lads. This is the level we need to be at and the conditioning especially with their younger lads told. It’s another level up from where we are currently but we will work on that.”
Fitzgerald is still optimistic at what lies ahead and feels there’s plenty of football left to be played.
“To lose just two league matches all campaign and one in as we know wrong circumstances to the eventual finalists is a scenario we can be happy enough with considering how this is a completely new team still in it’s development stage. We have a Munster semi-final with an opportunity of playing in a provincial final and an opportunity to stay in the race for the Sam Maguire. That’s the caveat now for us and that’s what we must ready ourselves for. I know these lads will bounce back. They’ve been brilliant in their application all year. Today we were just inexplicably flat.”

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