Putting words on a defeat as comprehensive is no easy task but joint manager Brian Breen didn’t mince his words when he termed last Sunday’s Allianz League Division 4 loss to Fermanagh as a potential wake-up call for the championship.
“Today is the first day we can say that we were absolutely, convincingly beaten,” Brian told the Observer, “Maybe being the end of the year, fellas having nothing to play for, that might have come into it. But today was the first today we were comprehensively beaten.
“But we have to look to the championship now, we are going to have up our performances an awful lot from today and maybe it is the wake-up call we need.”
But Brian refused to clutch at straws and offered no excuses – “It was the strongest panel we had all year with injuries coming back and I thought we would use that to an effect an advantage for us, fellows playing for places. But it didn’t materialise that way at all.
“After the first ten or 15 minutes when we competed for the ball in the middle of the field, we just stopped for whatever reason. We addressed it at halftime but it just got gradually worse.
“We’re just playing with a tough attitude at the moment, we just can’t seem to get a run at it for anything more than 15 minutes at a time. If we don’t improve on that, we’re going to be in trouble come championship time, it is as simple as that.
“It is something we are going to have to talk about but our work-rate I don’t think was acceptable there today. From 15 down there to number 8 wasn’t working hard enough. “We’re still very naïve, affecting our play and it is just very disappointing. I thought we had addressed our problems we had over the last two weeks but obviously we’re back to square one.
One player unavailable is Tomas Beirne but Brian says it is unlikely to that the Eslin man will rejoin the panel – “Tomas is working on the continent these days so he’s not part of the panel, simple as that. That is the end of the story as far as we are concerned, there is no ambiguity about it.
“At the end of the day, we have a tight panel of 27 or 28 players and we worked with 21 over the last number of weeks and them 21 want to play for Leitrim. That is where we are starting from as our base-line and if we can build on that, then we have something.”
To read the full story see this week’s Leitrim Observer.