While he enjoyed the victory and the celebrations in Markievicz Park as much as anyone, Leitrim captain Emlyn Mulligan was quick to put the victory in perspective as he stressed nobody in the Leitrim camp will be getting too carried with the first ever FBD League title.
“We’re delighted with the win but we’re not going to get carried away,” stressed Emlyn shortly after leaving the field at a bitterly cold Markievicz Park with the FBD League Cup still in his grasp.
“It’s huge for ourselves but we’re not going to get carried away. At this stage it’s just about getting a winning mentality and to come to Markievicz Park, away from home, was huge for the boys and we’ve got two great away wins now this year against Roscommon and Sligo so it gives us great confidence going into next weekend.”
Reflecting on the game Emlyn felt despite the testing weather, playing conditions were better than expected noting, “There was a blustery wind and the footing wasn’t the best but the pitch stood up well with all the rain it was better than we expected.
“In the second half, we blocked up the defence and got them on the on the break. The defence stood up brilliantly today, the full-back and half-back line stopped them getting through, we gave them nothing easy and thankfully we got a few scores and a few frees on the break and that won us the game.”
“To be fair, against Mayo it was the same thing. We went 5-1 up against Mayo and they came back to draw 8-8 going into the last few minutes. That bit of belief is there now that we know we are capable of pushing on.
“The boys at the end, a few subs came on, Cian Reynolds who is after joining us kept great composure and kicked a great point at the end and Conor Beirne came on and set up another score. We have a squad built now, our subs bench is strong.
“We have Gary Reynolds there who is back from Australia during the week. There is a lot of competition for places which there hasn’t been since I joined the panel. It is as competitive as I have seen it.”
The winning habit that Emlyn spoke about after the victory over Mayo was something he again addressed last Sunday saying, “We won three games by a point there where as over other years we would have been beaten by that point. That difference of one point is huge psychologically for us. We had an under par performance last weekend against GMIT, but maybe we had one eye on this game here today.
“Sligo gave it everything, the standard of football wasn’t up to its best, but it was a sticky pitch and it was blustery, but I still think we were fully deserving of our victory.”
With a piece of silverware under their belt before the end of January and an abundance of praise from various national media outlets, Emlyn was adamant a successful National League campaign remains a much greater objective adding, “No disrespect to the FBD League, it’s great to win it but I’d swap today’s win for a win next weekend. It gives us great confidence going down to Limerick and Limerick might think twice after seeing us win this , it might put a bit of fear in them.”