Roscommon style still a work in progress

Roscommon defender Neil Collins admits the team have yet to settle on the style of football Kevin McStay and Fergie O’Donnell want them to play.

Sunday’s Connacht semi-final clash with Sligo marks their 10th competitive game under the new management team - relatively early in the relationship according to the Castlerea man.

“I think we are trying to form that identity. I wouldn’t say that we have if you look at Tyrone, they have a defined system and style of play. Same with Dublin.

“I don’t think we have fully nailed our style of play yet.

“In the league sometimes, it was a case of let’s just go for it. It was wide open football. But you don’t win championship games by playing as open and free. A defensive element comes into it. I guess we are trying to find what our identity is but definitely, we have played good football. We like to keep that element of it.”

After John Evans’ All-Ireland talk about Roscommon, Sligo’s win in the corresponding fixture last year was deemed a victory against hubris.

Collins, though, says their former manager’s words never impacted on them.

“All games are different. Take the game against Leitrim (last month), in the first 10 minutes we hadn’t score and they had scored. So, you don’t really know how a game is panning out until it settles. At the end of the first-half, Sligo scored a goal from a penalty and that is when I started to think, ‘things aren’t going great here’.

“They were four or five points up and we weren’t competing as we should be. And as the second half went on, and we hadn’t clawed the thing back, you realised things weren’t going as you thought they would.”

Roscommon may have taken Sligo for granted last season - and Collins admits there will be no repeat.

“Last year we probably didn’t focus enough on each game as it came to us, so this year we are thinking one game at a time. Our next game is against Sligo. That’s all we are thinking about right now. We made the mistake previously of trying to look down the line so we are just thinking about one game at a time now, so right now all our focus is Sligo. Everybody has ambitions whether it’s the league or the summer and you have to focus on one game at a time otherwise you can get caught.”


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