“The boys are going to have to roll their sleeves up” says Moran

“You can talk tactics, you can talk technical things, you can talk everything, conditions and the weather but at the end of the day, it basically boils down to it is 15 against 15,” are the words of Leitrim manager Mickey Moran as he prepares his troops to face Sligo next Sunday in Markievicz Park.

“You can talk tactics, you can talk technical things, you can talk everything, conditions and the weather but at the end of the day, it basically boils down to it is 15 against 15,” are the words of Leitrim manager Mickey Moran as he prepares his troops to face Sligo next Sunday in Markievicz Park.

“You can talk tactics, you can talk technical things, you can talk everything, conditions and the weather but at the end of the day, it basically boils down to it is 15 against 15,” are the words of Leitrim manager Mickey Moran as he prepares his troops to face Sligo next Sunday in Markievicz Park.

Not one to underestimate the task in front of him nor to fail to rise to a challenge, Moran lays out the challenge that faces each of his players next Sunday – “If we don’t have 15 who are willing to go out there and dominate their position, then we can talk from here to eternity about team and tactics and it won’t make a bit of difference. The boys are going to have to roll up their sleeves and one by one, they are going to have to take on Sligo and win that battle.

“After that, the team ethic will come into it and hopefully, the performance will be there.”

With the League just concluded, Mickey acknowledges that the championship has been quickly thrust upon them – “You think you have enough time starting in January and you have the whole National league and FBD and that and suddenly, bang, it’s here. But that is what you train for and the lads have worked very hard and barring any serious injuries, hope to go into the game with a good frame of mind.”

The early start is also to Mickey’s liking for a number of reasons – “Probably it is harder to keep the lads going, to keep the intensity, if the match had been further back and you would have had more club matches in there too and the likelihood of injuries. It is easier to get challenge games as once the championship starts, you very limited as to who you get matches with and then if you are in the Qualifiers, you don’t know who you are going to get until the draw is made, and that doesn’t give you much time, a week or so.”

However, the veteran manager, who also spent a spell in charge of Sligo, acknowledges that the home team present a difficult challenge – “It is going to be a tough game, going to Markievicz. Sligo are always there. They have a very mature panel, they might look young and athletic and some of them are young but they have lads who have been about for a while

“Under Kevin, they have come on leaps and bounds. They’ve moved up the Leagues in terms of promotion, although they were very unlucky this year with a few results, and they were in a Connacht Final last year but they have been tipping about there up with Mayo and Galway.

To read the full story see this week’s Leitrim Observer.