Geezer shoots down critics

KILDARE manager Kieran McGeeney took the opportunity of yesterday’s post-match press conference to land a few blows at his team’s detractors.

Much had been made of his side’s inaccuracy in their Leinster preliminary round win over Wicklow last month when they put 17 efforts the wrong sides of the posts.

Yesterday, irrespective of what was otherwise a satisfactory win, they did themselves no favours in stopping the brickbats as they notched up 18 wides.

“I’d like to be putting them all over,” said McGeeney, who felt his team were actually being too considerate with their shot-taking in the first-half.

“There was a couple of bad ones. Somebody reacted the last time, said we’d be better taking shooting practice than going to the gym. We play football all the time. I do find it amusing that people who don’t go to our training like to pass comment on it.

“The fellas, I still like them to take shots. Their movement was good. They are good footballers, probably over-keen or over-zealous at times.

“I could be wrong in this but over the last two years I’d say we are one of the highest-scoring forward units in the country at championship level. People say that we can’t shoot. We might need more shots, but we are just a team that likes to shoot.

“You can hold it, hold it, hold it and get into trouble, but in the modern game too many people get back too quickly.

“You have to pull the trigger, what did we score today, 16 scores and we probably should have had two goals as well, but that’s the way it goes.

“I am happy enough. The day that we get beat I won’t be happy, but as long as we are scoring more than the opponents I’m happy.”

Taking advantage of a question about Kildare’s apparent fitness superiority over Meath in the latter stages of the game, McGeeney took aim at those critics who find his team rely too much on their physical attributes.

“Again there was comments during the week about us having optional training sessions in the morning. Dublin have been training every morning since January. What’s the difference, like? Teams are as fit as we are.

“I think they are a good bunch of footballers. They move the ball well. They support each other and they got at it. That’s all we can ask them to do.”

McGeeney felt Meath were weighed down by a necessity to perform given the departure of Liam Harnan and Barry Callaghan as selectors following the return of Graham Geraghty to the panel.

“There was probably huge pressure, probably unfair pressure on them.

“Did Banty make the move of the season? He put the ball in the back of the net and you tell me it wasn’t a square ball. It is easy to have a pot. I don’t know a manager out there that makes a decision that is going to be bad for his team.

“We all have opinions, that is a given. If you have a fella in you have to give him a chance to let his opinions.

“You can’t just do that in 12 months. It takes a while, especially to try and change a style of football. I think the pressure on them. It is easy to say it from the outside.”

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