John Evans was frank and honest in his assessment of his side’s below-par performance that resulted in a 2-17 to 0-16 loss on Sunday last. As he delved into Laois’ greater hunger on the day, backed up by their ability to snaffle breaking ball, his language was plain and simple. Deep down, one sensed he was hurting.
By Ian Cooney
“Any team in Division Two can beat any other team. We had momentum four weeks ago after winning in Down. But four weeks is a mighty long time and we seemed to have lost the momentum that we had.
“But, let’s face it, everybody knows that Laois have survived here for the last three or four years in Division Two by doing what they did today. They have been surviving in the division, and they survived today. Their backs were to the wall and they fought hard. We certainly didn’t match them,” Evans conceded.
Asked whether it was “one of those days”, the manager disagreed and lamented that his side had simply underperformed.
“A lot of our team played poorly. We just weren’t with it. Whatever frame of mind they were in, we surprised ourselves. We talked about it at half time and we vowed to do something about it. But once they got the second goal, the game was over.
“I’m not going to make excuses. It was an ideal day for football. It was one of those days when a lot of decisions went against us. But when I look at Laois, I see that they won so many breaks. Every break that was going, they won it. They were the hungrier team. You didn’t need to have a great knowledge of football to see that. Fair play to them, they were good at the day,” he acknowledged.
Afterwards, Evans brought his players away from the main stand, encouraging them to pick things up for the trip to Newbridge on Sunday next.
“We have to move on. I’ve just been talking to the team about that. There’s no point beating themselves up. They’ve already been beaten in the game, so it’s about getting themselves ready for next Sunday,” he concluded.