Success breeds success but it also definitely breeds expectations and setting the tone for a newly confident Leitrim Senior team is joint manager George Dugdale who quite firmly stated that winning the FBD League Home Final will mean little unless the Green & Gold follow it up with victories in the Allianz League.
Speaking with the Observer, a clearly delighted George was at pains to stress that the next game is the important one - “The FBD was a building block and we set ourselves a challenge of winning the FBD, we’ve achieved that and we see it as a huge platform for the National League which is the bigger picture.
“This result today will go into insignificance if we go don’t go out next Sunday and get back to brass tacks and get a result against Limerick because it is important that we kick off our League campaign on a positive note.”
But the Mohill man was the first to stress what last Sunday’s victory would mean to Leitrim - “We had great support there today and we outnumbered Sligo possibly two to one, winning brings out supporters and helps our confidence and helps us as a team.
“It is four from four, albeit the FBD but from our perspective as management, as players, as a team, we’re looking to win all our games and build as much confidence and build a winning mentality. So far, so good but a lot of work to be done. There is always a better buzz at training the following Tuesday night.
“Sometimes the performance isn’t as good as you want but at the end of the day, it is whether you win or not is the most important thing and when we get into the National league, getting two points on the board is the crucial thing so we’re gearing ourselves for that. After we meet here in the dressing room, we’ll regroup and refocus for Limerick next weekend and get our heads around what lies ahead and not get carried away by this.”
Yet there was no denying George’s obvious delight at Leitrim lifting their first Cup since 1994 - “I’m absolutely delighted, delighted with the performance, delighted with the result, the boys gave it everything, they did everything that was asked of them. We battled hard when we were going through sticky patches, saw it out and got some fine scores and I think on the day, we were the better side and deserved to win.
“In every game, you’re going to make mistakes. There are areas we have to work on but we’re aware of that and we’re doing our best to rectify those problems. We have a good squad and it shows today that we had players to come in today and replace fellows who were tired because they worked so hard, came in and made huge contributions.
“Even the fellows who didn’t play today, they’re equally important to the squad. That is what we are emphasising, the squad and everyone involved. Even if you are togging today or not, you’re making as big an effort as the man who is playing for the full 60 minutes. That’s the philosophy and so far so good.”
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