In much the same way as Shane Ward is preaching belief, Galway manager Kevin Walsh was pleased with the learning curve his side overcame in Mohill last Sunday.
Walsh was pleased with the manner in which his side, which showed 12 changes from the Sligo game, coped with the expected tough Leitrim challenge - “We were expecting that coming up from last week, I think Leitrim had 12 of the starting team from last week and obviously they were heading out to win it, they were champions over the last two years and they weren’t going to go down without a fight and that’s what they done.
“A lot of those guys are going to be pushing for places as far as we’re concerned and hopefully, as far as they are concerned and over the next two weeks, we have a lot of decisions to make.”
However, there were areas that caused the new Galway manager some concern - “Disappointing factor today was the amount of possession we won today and turned the ball over a lot of times, silly hand-passing that allowed Leitrim up the field and maybe got their goal and a few points when we really could have pulled away.
“But it was a lot of lads first time wearing the jersey which brings a lot of anxiety to the situation. They’ve learned a lot, we tried to leave the team as much as we could, as long as we could to try and get over the line but we made a few changes towards the end.
“But it is important those guys learn how to play football and have the jersey on their back.”
Walsh felt that his team showed good maturity in the closing stages - “I thought especially when Leitrim had gone so defensive, it was important that we kept the ball in hand. Leitrim have always been good at taking the ball out of defence, they are quite good with their hand-passing and kick-passing so it was important that the guys did show a bit of leadership.
“Towards the end, when they were being sucked out a little bit, I wouldn’t be inclined to take the ball into the tackle and maybe a little bit more patience but they’ll learn that along the way.”
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