DERRY manager, Ger Rogan, has set his sights on the Division 2A final after his side secured their second win in three leagues games after last weekend’s win over Kildare at Celtic Park.
Michael Wilson reports
The Oak Leafers put a disappointing first half display behind them to overturn a four point deficit and win by three points against the team which ended their interest in this season’s Kehoe Cup at the semi-final stage.
“We were poor in the first half,” admitted Rogan. “There were so many things we didn’t get right, the very basics and yet in spells in that first half we played some quality stuff when we decided we wanted to play it, but we weren’t focused enough to go for 35 minutes.
“We shot some poor wides. They weren’t from the sideline, they were from in front of the posts and should have been over the bar. At this level you cannot have the kind of wastage, but in the second half the boys came out and they were up for it. I said to them at half-time: ‘Lads we are only four points down, let’s go out and win this game.’
“People can say ‘I said this’ or ‘I said that’ but we just talked about the basics and about the opening phase when we were not tuned in. If you are not tuned in, you are going to make mistakes and if those mistakes are in the basics then the rest just falls away. What we had asked them to do is just focus on each ball and not to be thinking about the rest of the game. Just concentrate on the next ball, win it and do something postive with it rather than just hitting it away. Even at that in the second half, there was a lot of our play we weren’t happy with but a lot of the play we were.”
The 53rd minute dismissal oif Kildare full-back, Fiachra O Muineachain, after he recived a second yellow card for hauling down Ruairi Convery, helped Derry’s cause but Rogan did not see it as a turning point.
“I don’t think so, I really don’t think (it was) because at that stage we were on the rise and it was only a matter of time until we got the scores we deserved in the second half. He deserved to go, it was a definite yellow card so we have no problems with that, it is part and parcel of the game and if you tackle like that you are going to be punished.”
Convery compunded Kildare’s punishment by hitting the back of the net less than two minutes after the red card which Rogan said gave his team the platform to push on for the win.
“Yes, it (the goal) came at the right time and it has to be said, while there is not a fantastic crowd here, there is a bigger one than normal and people were getting behind us which gave the players a lift. Look, it is a good result and an indication as to where we are in terms of this squad moving forward. That Kildare team defeated us by nine points in the Kehoe Cup.
“We play Laois next Saturday and we’ll take exactly the same attitude. We will go out and try to take the two points off Laois. We are not thinking about relegation. I think that’s very unfair on our squad to think like that. We believe that we could be contesting a league final and we still believed that even after the result in Westmeath. We thought that scoreline didn’t reflect the game so what we do now is get back together on Tuesday night and have a chat about where it maybe went wrong in the first half and try to build on it for next week.”