Fergie O’Donnell blames Roscommon stage-fright

Roscommon joint-manager Fergie O’Donnell figured the team were daunted by the opposition and occasion yesterday.

“The breeze was quite strong in the first half. Coming out of defence, we kept turning back. I don’t know why that is — it wasn’t as if Kerry pinned us back. I thought maybe we were a little bit in awe of them. I think we may have got a bit of stage-fright out there.

“Our performance was disappointing but you couldn’t but be impressed. Their midfield pairing of Donaghy and Moran — the way they covered the ground. The likes of Marc Ó Sé, he’s so definite in the way he comes out with the ball compared to the way we came out. He knew what he was about. These guys have All Stars, All-Irelands.

“I suppose we may have surpassed ourselves to get to a league semi-final. We’re under no illusions. If you look at the other three teams in the semi-finals, we’ve a long way to go to catch up with them. At the same time, Kerry were impressive. If we had been a little bit smarter in our shot selection we could have knocked the score down. It’s disappointing that we didn’t create any goal chances.”

O’Donnell knows Roscommon’s true position in the rankings is lower than third in Division 1. “We know we’re not in the top four teams in the country. You look at the likes of Tyrone coming up, they’d be miles ahead of us and we know that,” he said.

“But at the same time, an All-Ireland is a long way away. We’d be looking can we contest against the best teams in Connacht. Mayo, we haven’t contested in the league again this year.

“For Roscommon last year, maybe we were talking like that and when we came up to some of the other games, we didn’t perform. So for us now we have to get back to the basics, get ready for New York and if we get over that, get ready for Leitrim.”

Remaining in Division 1 was the priority set and achieved by Roscommon and O’Donnell wasn’t placing too more store in the idea this heavy defeat had taken the gloss off their campaign.

“There has been a lot of media about us getting there. The Mayo game showed our shortcomings. We know where we’re at.”


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