‘A head-scratcher’

Magee says play­ers didn’t per­form


WICKLOW man­ager Johnny Magee said the over­all feel­ing from Sun­day’s de­feat to Leitrim in the Gar­den County’s open­ing league game was one of “dis­ap­point­ment”.

The Wicklow boss said that the squad had pre­pared as best they could but that the early con­ces­sion of the goal was a ma­jor blow in the game where his play­ers just didn’t turn up and do them­selves jus­tice.

“We pre­pared as best we could,” said Johnny Magee, “We wer ev­ery happy with prepa­ra­tions but con­ced­ing the goal in the first minute was a big set­back for us.

“As a man­ager it’s dis­ap­point­ing and the play­ers are dis­ap­pointed with their per­for­mance,” he said.

On pa­per the Wicklow team looked rea­son­ably strong with a very threat­en­ing look­ing full-for­ward line of Tommy Kelly, Seanie Fur­long and John McGrath and strong play­ers in cer­tain po­si­tions.

How­ever, all over the field on the day Wicklow were just sec­ond best to every­thing and Leitrim fully de­served their vic­tory.

“It was as strong a team as we could put out,” said Johnny Magee. That’s the strong­est full-for­ward line we’ve had with the play­ers that have been avail­able to us. But it’s all well and good hav­ing the play­ers but if it doesn’t hap­pen it doesn’t hap­pen.

“You get those days. The lads didn’t per­form and when you cross that white line tere’s only so much you can do as a man­ager. It’s a head-scratcher. We had worked ex­tremely hard. This time last year we were up and run­ning with two wins, one of them against Leitrim, so it’s re­ally dis­ap­point­ing.

“The lads are hugely dis­ap­pointed and to be hon­est I haven’t slept much since Sun­day. A lot of time and ef­fort has gone into this,” he added.

To make the dis­ap­point­ment more pro­nounced the heavy de­feat came just days af­ter the launch of the new spon­sor­ship and jersey at Pow­er­scourt which was at­tended by a raft of na­tional me­dia out­lets in­clud­ing RTE and oth­ers.

Magee said that it was great to get the spon­sor­ship and new jersey and it was great to see the re­ac­tion to the jersey but that the de­feat was made all the more dif­fi­cult to take com­ing so soon af­ter such a pos­i­tive event.

Up next for Wicklow is a very dif­fi­cult trip to Water­ford who dis­missed the chal­lenge of Lon­don last week­end.

“Water­ford is go­ing to be tricky,” said Magee. “We haven’t had much suc­cess against Wa­ter- ford in re­cent times but I know when we pull it to­gether we are good enough to beat Water­ford or Leitrim. The lads are go­ing to be sore and we’re look­ing for a re­ac­tion, we’re look­ing for the right re­sponse,” he added.

Johnny Magee also added that they would be ap­peal­ing Stephen Kelly’s dis­missal from the game against Leitrim last Sun­day due to video ev­i­dence that shows Ross O’Brien de­liv­er­ing the late chal­lenge and not the Éire Óg Grey­stones man.

“It didn’t cause the loss but it didn’t help,” said the Wicklow boss.

Wicklow man­ager Johnny Magee.

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