No excuses as Grimley stands by game plan

Paul Grimley must know he has some uncomfortable days ahead under the microscope.

The Armagh manager’s gung-ho approach to football is laudable, and one wishes fervently that it could deliver a greater likelihood of success in this age of ‘defence first’, but it leaves those who champion it as exposed as their defenders.

Grimley, to be fair, made no excuses afterwards.

“We were too slow. We had worked on this high-pressure game and we didn’t adapt to it at all in the first-half. Second-half there was a bit more determination and fluency and our movement was a wee bit better and we were starting to take the right options whereas in the first-half we were panic shooting at times.

“But you have to give Cavan credit for the tactics they used. I was tempted to go back and use the sweeper but this is the way we have been working for the last six months and, as I said to the boys, it wouldn’t say much about me if I was to change it after 35 minutes.”

The Armagh man contradicted himself just seconds later by insisting he was never tempted but his conviction was consistent. “You have to stand by what you believe in,” he stated. “Win or lose.”

Yet their immediate future looks bleak, thanks in no small part to the nine points claimed by Martin Dunne who registered all bar one of them from play in what was an outstanding senior championship debut.

The Cavan Gaels man could hardly have dared dream of such a scenario as he watched his county suffocate in the strangled spaces of the Ulster Championship this last 15 years. Little could he have known that Armagh — of all people — would arrive preaching glasnost when his big day dawned.

“We haven’t come across that in the league,” he said after shooting the lights out, “but we were watching clips of Armagh and we saw they play the high-press game and we knew we were going to have lots of space in there. It was just about getting the right ball in.”

How simple it sounds.


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