Norton: We didn’t do ourselves justice today

LAOIS senior football selector Donie Norton believes his side didn’t do themselves justice at Croke Park yesterday.

Manager Justin McNulty refused to talk to the media and left Norton to analyse the display.

“The real negative is that we didn’t show up on the day, for all the work that has gone in,” he said.

“I believe that we haven’t done ourselves justice today and it was a day when Dublin probably didn’t fire on all cylinders either, so the opportunity was there for us.

“Hopefully we can pick it up from here on in.”

It took Laois 16 minutes to open their account and that slow start required a superb defensive display which would characterise their day.

“Eoin Culleton pulled off some spectacular saves, but when the ball went up the other end we found it difficult to score and we actually found it difficult to get the ball into our inside forwards,” he said. “It took us a while to settle and we were probably hoping to settle in a lot quicker than we did.

“Having said that we got back into the game just after half-time and it looked that we were going to get right back into it, but then it went away from us again.”

It was a second championship start for Daithí Carroll, but The Heath clubman went off injured and Norton hopes he’ll be in shape for the All-Ireland qualifier on June 25.

“Daithí is really coming into his own now, so it was disappointing so to see him going off,” he said.

“Hopefully he will be ok. I understand he has an ankle injury and he is off to Tullamore Hospital tonight but hopefully he will be recovered shortly.”

Norton says Laois will show no fear against whoever they are drawn against in the qualifiers, in a potential opposition list that includes last year’s beaten All-Ireland finalists Down.

“In the qualifiers every team is looking to get a handy draw at the start and try and build up momentum as they go along,” he said.

“That’s the way Kerry and even Dublin last year have gone. Hopefully the draw will be favourable to us, but we have to play with the hand that we get at the end of the day.”

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