ALL-IRELAND SFC ROUND 3:
Galway v Armagh
Galway footballer Finian Hanley admitted that criticism has flowed “thick and fast” in light of the county’s below-par performances this season.
The Tribesmen staggered through rounds one and two of the qualifiers against Division 4 opposition and Hanley claimed the barrage of criticism stemming from the Mayo hiding is having a negative impact on the team’s younger lights.
“It’s water off a duck’s back for myself, but some of the younger guys mightn’t be used of it,” he said. “The younger lads are used to winning All-Irelands at U-21 level and getting the pat on the back, so to go from that to an environment where people are getting at you wondering what’s going on and what is happening, that can be difficult.
“In Galway there is high expectations, there always is every year regardless of what panel or players you have. When you win an U-21 All-Ireland people think it will turn into senior success two or three years on. Maybe it should be happening quicker but I wouldn’t be getting carried away with that because the senior game has changed in the last couple of years.
“We have a very young team. We know what lads are capable of. I suppose a lot of lads are finding their feet in senior football, the physicality and what not. It is a work in progress, it takes time.”
Alan Mulholland’s men narrowly edged out Waterford earlier this month despite failing to score for 22 minutes of the second half, having endured a similar barren period against Tipperary when they shut down in the final quarter despite being ahead by nine.
The captain conceded consistency has been their Achilles heel, but is content with winning ugly.
“It’s all about getting a full performance as opposed to a 40 or 50-minute performance, playing for ten and then not playing for ten, being inconsistent like we have been.
“We’d rather win playing poorly than lose playing well. We went to Meath there a couple of years ago and we played very well. It was a game that we probably should have won but we came out on the wrong side of the result, losing by a point. We’ve been on the wrong side of a lot of them over the last couple of years.
“If you’re playing poorly but getting the result it allows you to rectify it the next day out. If you are not on that side you are gone and have to wait until January to get back into it again. It’s nice to be playing badly and get through. I know you want the performance, but you can work on things if you do get on the right side of the result.”
The full-back revealed the westerners are sweating over the fitness of half-forwards John O’Brien and Mike Farragher, both nursing calf ailments, and consequently, the management have delayed naming their starting team until midday today.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved