It’s a Saturday evening date with the Lilies

MacHale Park mayo v Fermanagh

It’s just been confirmed that our Round 3B qualifier clash with Kildare will take place at MacHale Park on Saturday evening with a 7pm throw-in. The match will be broadcast live on Sky. The Connacht final replay between Roscommon and Galway takes place at the same venue the following afternoon with a 3.30pm start.

90 thoughts on “It’s a Saturday evening date with the Lilies

  1. Mayo county board should ban RTE from the place like Mickey Harte did last year. Whealan, O’Se, Spillane and Brolly should form a punk outfit what with all the spewing their doing about Aidan O’Shea.

  2. Anyone think we will get an even bigger crowd for this game? I think so. 7pm is an ideal throw in time.

  3. Never mind the pundits. They are always looking to boost their own ratings. I’d much rather having them get annoyed about Mayo winning than listening to Brolly and Spillane (in particular) talking shite about Mayo’s naivity whenever Mayo loses.

  4. 7pm is not an ideal time at all IMO. Away fans are not even remotely considered. Only TV money. Mini rant over.

    Regarding the match itself I am not overly optimistic of our chances to get much further this year. We may well do enough to get past Kildare but there are serious issues tactically. At the back we are deploying a sweeper system but are still getting carved open. Our fb line is poor without Cafferkey and Barrett injured and also with Cunniffe not available. We have lost our mojo in terms of energy and ability to win breaks. We are carrying the ball into traffic. This used to be limited to the O Sheas mainly, now we are all at it. Especially as we try to attack. Cillian is not contributing much from play. I am not sure if he is not 100% fit or if the mantle of captain is sitting too heavily.
    Its a big job for a manager who came in under acrimonious circumstances and has no senior inercounty experience.

  5. Delighted it is not a double header. Going on the last game I think Vaughan, Barry, Dillon deserve to start. hope Barrett and loftus can play some part. my team for Sat eve,
    Harrison Keane Higgins
    Keegan boyle Vaughan
    Barry Seamus
    diarmuid aido mcloughlin
    Dillon cillian Regan

  6. The coverage on sky is a million times better then RTE. Its pundits actually consider the game rather then trying to make sensationalist headlines.

    I would very much like it if Mayo took a position with RTE similar to Tyrone. I have never seen the Sunday game show a manager just after the game a video(from the wrong angle) of an incident in an effort to cause controversy. To use Spillanes words its puke TV.

  7. Just to echo that NiallMc, I don’t recall James Horan being shown any video clips of where we were hard done by down in Limerick in 2014, nor indeed do I remember The Sunday Game going to DEFCON 1 in its discussion of Dublin’s thuggish behaviour – and Joes McQuillan’s failure to do anything about this – in last year’s drawn All-Ireland semi-final.

  8. Good team forever the optimitis and I would 90% agree with you


    Coen will be needed in the corner for his fielding ability and also his sweeping up of breaks of Keane and Kelly .

  9. How a big man falling over is causing a bigger stir than a player attempting to gouge another players eyes out of their sockets is beyond me.

  10. I didn’t think the sunday games discussion was that bad. Remember tiernan Mccann was slated and they called for him to be suspended so on that alone he’s not getting as bad a slating. It’s still bad enough I agree but look they showed the Cillian penalty incident and other poor decisions last night so could have been worse

  11. 2winjustonce, my attendance hasn’t been updated. I emailed season tickets who have replied saying attendance will be updated in the coming days, could be friday before its up to date.

  12. Any one any idea to Kildare play a 2 or 3 man inside line?
    I can see 2 changes for the next day possibly 3 with Vaughan n for Durcan and maybe Doherty in for freeman .one other possible change is at midfield with Barry maybe coming in for coen or coen reverting to corner back.

  13. Aidan, agree that Donie will prob start and Jason for freeman if he has to come out to the hf again. I have a feeling Barry will be kept in reserve again and brought on as an impact sub when opposition is tiring which worked to great effect on saturday.

  14. Big crowd in Newbridge this weekend so hopefully they’ll bring a nice scatter of fans to come and stay in town for the night. I would say 13-15k on Saturday.

    More of the same atmosphere please!!

  15. I’m a huge Vaughan fan but give Duncan another start , would start barry in mid field , and Doherty for Alan F, we need to start dominating mid field again and Donnie is the type of player that would do a job if brought on again . Thought Dillon was excellent the last day when he came on but not fit for full game of chasing back , also think Andy will be the first man to admit there was times when he could have passed the ball ,like Donnie it’s all about the group and getting over the next hurdle ,, roll on sat evening. Expecting big support for MAYO ,

  16. The A Team…..assuming B Moran starts.


    What the set up is depends on what KD does.Whatever they do we ll have to be able to adapt like any decent team.Like Portugal showed, a team can perform to win in many different ways! If our main man had to leave the field would we step up or fold up? Questions questions!!
    BTW Aidan won’t be stuck in the corner..over and back, in and out ….but timed and not too much.

  17. Rte, the whole thing is biased. Great to see it shown up so clearly. It doesn’t just stop with sport either.

    Glad Sky are involved.

    Maybe if O’Shea was booked, they’d let us stay up the night appealing it. And then forget it ever happened because the appeal process wasn’t done properly!

    I mean, something Brolly said a few years back stuck in my head. (Very little of what he says does, but this gave some insight)

    He said he met one of the ex-Dublin managers in a pub after Mayo beat Dublin in 2012. Can’t remember if it was Cafferkey or Gilroy.

    He said how they were discussing Mayo ruining All Ireland finals and how depressing it was and how something should be done about it.

    I also remember him making comments on radio about our “fouling” before the final against Donegal. Not saying he influenced the ref, but we did receive some soft early bookings.

    Spillane aswell, “calling a spade, a spade”, looking back at old videos from the 90’s.

    People in positions of influence really should be more objective.

    So concentrate on the football, don’t be shamed or put down, they’d love that. There is just no point in having doubt, no room for it anymore.

    Whatever happens, happens. Support in difficult times is the most inspiring. An inch gained when things are going wrong could be worth anything when things click.

  18. mayomad & 2winjustonce, make sure you send season ticket an email now, your seasonticket attendance should be updated by Wednesday at the latest. If not you have alerted season tickets by email and have a record. I know in the past that they will try and fob you off if you leave it later than Wednesday.

  19. Outside the boot, I think he will go with Coen again, Barry had a great game when he came on and turned midfield in our favour However Fermanagh ere begining to tire at that stage. im still not sold on the idea of two big men in the middle, we would lack mobility around the middle of the field. Thats just my opinion, its Rochfords decision at the end of the day.

  20. I couldn’t care less what Spillane . Brolly or any of the different media outlets say about us. They may influence the ref’s or maybe referees may feel that if they don’t give the free it may be also highlighted. We all saw and read in Taigh Kinnelly’s book how he planned to hit Nicholas Murphy before throw in . No comment from Pat on that. Also no comment after the Limerick game. I remember Ciaran Whelan trying to behead Ronan McGarrity in Croake Park and Rowan is no small man . Players do what they can to win. Take that away and the game will not be worth looking at. By the way I would try and finish games with our best team on the field rather than start that way.

  21. I had another look at the game again yesterday and I have to admit, that things looked a little cleared (and better) the second time around.
    Certainly physically we looked to have improved a level or two since the Galway game. There was no cramping up and speed and stamina levels looked to be maintained throughout the game. In particular, Seamie, Keegan and Boyle looked to have the spring back.
    I was disappointed to see Durcan withdrawn but having watched the game again it was clear he had a poor game. In 34 minutes of football he coughed up possession 5 times (either through poor passing or being striped of the ball) that led to 5 attacks resulting in 4 Fermanagh points. Plus he picked up a cheap yellow card. He is a much better player than he showed on Saturday but he may have to wait in turn for another start.
    Aidan looked a little sharper than the Galway game (could he have been any less sharp?) but he was very productive. In all he picked up a yellow card, was fouled 6 times resulting in 2 pointed and 1 missed free. He hit the post, scored a point and won the penalty. While nowhere near his best, it was an improvement.
    Regan got very poor service throughout but when he got anything remotely like winnable ball he set up 1-1 in the first half. His wriggle under 3 Fermanagh men to feed the ball to Higgins in the lead up to our first half goal was particularly impressive. Higgins played a foot pass in to him with 2 Fermanagh defenders on his back and Boyle on another occasion played him in with 3 men on his back!!! He was making very intelligent runs off the ball that went unrewarded and our midfielders and half forwards are going to have to get their heads up sooner and look for him. He is a real threat when used correctly.
    Kevin McLoughlin was outstanding, enough said. Born to play the sweeper role he broke up and intercepted 5 Fermanagh attacks, plus, offered support to Keane and Harrison under breaking ball.
    Nothing earth shattering but it didn’t need to be. Saturday was all about winning, getting the heads right after Galway and moving on. Step up another level for Kildare and we will be fine. The longer we stay in the hunt, the more time management have to implement their style on the squad, the more chance we have of getting Barrett and Parsons back fit, the more chance we have of getting Cillian up to speed (clearly not at full pelt yet) and the better we will be.
    Fuck the haters. Hon Mayo.

  22. As of 4pm my season ticket hasn’t been updated has anyone else’s not been updated?

  23. Backdoor sam, mine hasnt been updated either, I emailed them about it and they replied saying attendance will be updated in the coming days. Apparently they rely on the local volunteers to upload the information on attendance.

  24. pebblesmeller,
    the ball passed to regan with 3 fermanagh bucks around him was madness, thats the type pass that kills any team spirit. there had to be others in better positions to receive the ball so the sooner we start hitting the ball to better placed teamates the better.

  25. Good analysis there Pebbles; must give the recording another run.

    I was impressed with Regan against Galway; he was out first to the ball every time and set guys up with little flicks and so on. I would like to see him get ball in space, but as we all know that gets harder and harder as the season progresses. Still, get him him onto good ball should be a key aim of management and if we dominate midfield this should be a priority.

  26. I didnt rewatch, but to my mind Harrison shutdown his corner in the second half. Recall him clambering over his man to scoop up the ball. The defensive second half effort being a little bit forgotten about.

  27. Agree pebbles on mcloughlin, he’ll get better the further we go. The main difference is Mayo play a sweeper but only 5 other defenders which allows them to push up on the oppositions kickouts which is good. The key area of concern is Harrison and Keane, are they good enough with McLaughlin’s help to keep out goals. The remainder of the team is recovering nicely and Higgins is very dangerous breaking forward!

  28. Reagan is just a little light and looses a lot of ball. The reality is we have been playing poor all year. I went up yo the Monaghan game and Regan had the same problem–he will be better on a dry day. Loftus has an eye for goal and took one very well against Monaghan. We have to persevere with a sweeper or else we have learnt nothing from our defeats in Croker.have patience.

  29. I’m hoping we revert more back to the type of football we saw in the second half. Not only is the strategy in the first half awful to watch…I can’t see it coming good. We just don’t have the players to play whatever they are trying to do, Higgins is needed now in the full back line

  30. Struck me last night when looking at the Johnny Giles eulogy on the soccer coverage on RTE that they should head over to the GAA department and put this gang out to pasture as well

    Darren Frehill (Radio 1 clown who isn’t old but is just terrible)
    Bernard “Im a gas man” Flynn
    Des Cahill
    Ger Canning
    Marty Morrissey (Allright let him chair the awful “Martys squad” just so we can remember how they manage to waste the licence fee, but get him off commentary. His attempts to be the Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh for a new generation are just not working)
    Yer man Carty from Roscommon who also thinks hes a “mini Mícheál”
    Tommy “Tom” Carr
    Pat Spillane
    Joe Brolly (not because he needs to retire but because he is such a one trick pony at this stage, its the Joe show and he doesn’t even attempt to analyse anymore)
    John Maughan (just because he reminds me of 96 every time I see/hear him and it brings it all back)

  31. My biggest concern after Saturday is our Full Back Line. Brendan Harrison is a good footballer but not a natural man marker. Patrick Durcan has taken a huge dip in form. Kevin Keane lacks pace when the opposition leave space inside.

    Our half back line is still our best line. Stephen Coen is not a midfielder and while he has lots of admirable attributes, he just has not got the height or physicality for the position. It is really unfair on him to ask him to stand up to men like Eoin Donnelly, Tommy Moolick, MD McAuley.

    The positives are the form of Diarmuid, Lee, and Colm. Would love to see Aido moved to Midfield because it is unlikely he will be getting any frees in the near future. Would like to see Shane Nally or Stephen Coen in the sweeper role but this seems to be decided with Kevin Mc a certainty to play there. Hope to see some more of Loftus after the Monaghan League game he looked a real prospect.

  32. twas a jibe about seanie. even when he was with kildare it wasnt like he set them on fire. I suppose the management have to take the longterm view of things, no point putting kevin to sweeper position on the day again get that far, thats why hes the manager.
    but boyler being exposed against quigley shows that we still are prone to dosing off and allowing the danger to grow fast enough to finish us. maybe the team will improve with each passing game if they keep winning? and maybe this is why dublin fans are so pissed that we beat fermanagh?

  33. Im a bit surprised there is not more call in here to start BM. Ill have to watch the game back thos evening but to me he was brilliant , he is the best fielder we have.

  34. Pick a half back line of Keegan, Boyle and Higgins and build a team around them. This is as good a half back line as ever took to a field . We need to unleash these guys on the opposition and see what happens.

  35. Sean, my brother who was at it, reckons that Barry turned the match, and that there were strong claims for him as MOTM during the post-match discussions in Tolsters, which I’m sure were a model of calm rational debate.

  36. I thought Barry Moran changed the direction of the game on Saturday but I’d still be inclined to hold him in reserve. The same goes for Andy Moran and Alan Dillon. I’d rather not see these guys killing themselves to cover runs while a game settles down.

    Kildare have a decent midfield and Moolick in particular likes to pile forward at every opportunity. He needs watching but also leaves a lot of space behind him.

    I think our forwards might well get a bit more space than they’ve become accustomed to in this one, as the score Offaly put up bears testament to. For that reason I would persist with Evan Regan in the corner. I’d probably also go with Freeman again.

  37. It’s great to have a man like Barry Moran. He made an immediate impact Saturday evening and he can do the same this Saturday too. Start with the same team and always knowing we have Barry and and Alan Dillon in the breach is good for the nerves. Donie has to start this time. Maybe Patrick Durcan had a bad day on Saturday and he could come on later in the game. Lookin forward to this one.

  38. It was all tongue in cheek about the bauld Seanie outside of the boot

    Freeman had a bad game , bad decisions , poor shooting , I was happy he was picked to start but he deserved to be subbed, I’d keep him on the bench to be sprung later against Kildare , when he is on form he is lethal

  39. I would like to see a few scud missiles going in to their full back line. The ones coming

    down with `snow on them` – – always difficult to deal with for the defender.

  40. I reckon our greatest enemy this week will be if some complacently kicks in again at it did before the Galway game. Last week all the talk was of how dangerous a team Fermanagh would be for us and most of the pundits were saying that they would be a tough nut for us to crack and that’s the way it turned out. So for this game we need to have the same focus and not be thinking of the next game. Kildare are a very strange team, remember last year, they hammered Cork and then came out and lost heavily to Kerry in the next game, so they do have a big performance in them when their minds are in the right place, we need to be on our toes for this game as they have nothing to lose.

    joet, I’d agree with you there too, I’d like to see Vaughan start as well, Paddy Durcan could be a good option later in the game, when he’d be able to use his pace. It’s a hard call to make with Barry Moran, the benefit of having him on the bench is that he would be an option at midfield, at full-forward or as a sweeper if needed. Say for example if Aidan O’Shea got black carded early in the game, at least you’d have Barry to come on for him. If you start Seamie, Barry and Aidan, then you’d probably be looking at having to bring on Conor O’Shea if any of those 3 named players got injured or black carded etc.

    It was a strange one with Alan Freeman, it was good to see him start but I couldn’t understand why he wasn’t played closer to goal, with him playing on the half-forward line, Jason Doc would probably have played that role better as he would have been a better man to track or block the runners from the Fermanagh half-back line that caused us so many problems in the first half.

    I think that I read in The Mayo News last week that Conor Loftus and Chris Barrett were back doing light training so hopefully they will be back soon. We could really do with these two lads back, one to give us another option at the back and the other to provide us with another scoring threat up front.

  41. As an interested party, I thought I’d share a thought or two.
    I have a couple of questions about team structure.
    Do you think the sweeper system is working as implemented?
    All evidence thus far (league included), makes it look, well “Unpolished”.
    Now that the sharp end of the competition approaches, what can be done about this?

    I’m wondering should they persevere, and keep plugging away to perfect it?
    Some people tend to consider a static sweeper in the D overkill.

    Another bunch might say that two sweepers (a la Kerry) is a better bet. What is the consensus here?

    Directly related is the other question/thought I’d like to put around.
    Is every player playing where they *should* be?
    Versatility is one thing (and a thing to be admired given it is a label you could give several players).
    Even saying that, is too much adaptability hindering the team layout more than it helps it?
    Really, I don’t know the answers, but I’d like to hear what others have to say about them.

    Food for thought, I suppose.

  42. Dave.. the ball passed to Regan is a perfect example of what happens if you try to go down the centre against a blanket defence. There will be three players marking space.. about 3 seconds away from any opposition player receiving the ball in this danger zone. They will converge on that player to try and bottle them up and get a turn over. I thought it was a brilliant move for Regan to go to ground and get the pass away to higgins who read the move and was in on goal.. once you get behind the blanket there’s nothing between you and the sticks. That’s one way to beat the blanket which was also executed very well by the U21s against Cork in the final. There are number ways now to beat the blanket and you need to be able mix them up otherwise you become to predictable and easy to defend. For me that pass was a plus and possibly another string to our bow. How many players besides Higgins would read that move, have the ability to slip into the pocket unnoticed, pick up the ball at speed and go straight for goal. Only negative was the final shot.. hope your working on that one in training Keith.. keep it low next time

  43. Ref: Season was updated this morning, no issues there.

    Regarding next weekend, we clearly have problems in the FB line and in both forward lines. Our FB line is jittery and not settled. We lack a player with the physical and perhaps mental attributes to own that line. Barrett and Keane are tough as nails and a smart players but lack height for that position. We were caught out badly again, this time by Fermanagh, and punished, again! Althought it was a sever blow, luckily it wasn’t a mortal blow, unlike Donegal/Dublin etc.were in the past for us.
    We must get this right asap. I’d start Donnie, experienced and tough, at CHB and put Stephen Coen, young, physical, mobile and smart behind him at number 3 and deploy the sweeper. We must stop the goals. We’ve seen this year after year; we are good enough to get to the last 4 or 2 , we can survive, but come the last 4 there is zero room for error and you must have a solid system and solid line.

    I’d start the two O’Shea’s at midfield for now…that’s not and major area of concern for us right now, for if we are getting cleanded out (rarely) we can change it up and vary our ko’s. As we progress into July/August (and trust we will), we get guys back from injury and that gives us more options in the middle thereby allowing us to put Aido on the FF line.

    I was disappointed with freezer’s performancel, although he did very well to get the goal. He seemed to be wandering around for the most part and made some bad decisions at times. But, I’d still keep him there and persist, for he can win a ball in the air. Cillian to me didn’t look match fit and thats fine, if that’s all it is…he will contribute more from play as his fitness improves. His and his brothers fitness (no doubt) are of vital importance to our success. I hear others speak of Loftus worth his place…I cant say Ive seen enough of him to weigh in on that, but I’d like to believe its true.
    I’m still undecided on Evan Regan. He worked tirelessly the last day but ultimatly a forwards job is to put points on the board. I’d persist with him for now and hope as we progress,. that he shows us what he can do.
    In summary though, my main concern is the FB line. We must stop the goals.

  44. At the risk of worrying people about complacency and taking Kildare for granted can anybody say which beaten provincial finalists are due to come into our group of qualifiers?

  45. Galwayexile is bang on there but either the team, mcentee, Rochford or Buckley are all in this together and stubbornly sticking with this plan like the Germans going to Russia or else they are blind to the reality in front of them.

    Ok sweeper if it must be then why Kevin mc? In fact after the last day id have Barry Moran in there.

    Shur as lads have said towards the end Harrison was exposed 1 on 1 with quigly late in the game as Mac was out of steam from his forward runs.

    Anyhow the draw is great and we could have good momentum built up and improve this “system” by the time a real test comes along.

    I’m trying to remain optimistic but it’s hard to watch when these lads have now to rely on simulation to score goals when before we were able to create and score goals off the cuff.

    It’s sad but true.

  46. The big winner so far is Castlebar. When Galway beat us who forecasted Connacht Final replay and 2 Qualifiers in McHale Park. Poetic justice to say the least.

    All the debate on ‘sweepers’ convinces me that its not working and is causing a diversion. We should concentrate on putting all balls between the uprights, preferably beneath the crossbar.

    AOS is a brilliant player and is a worry for all our opponents. Trying to discredit him is purely a diversion tactic and in this case is less than a 7 day wonder.

    The future remains bright however with Clarkie back as keeper. He is a safe pair of hands and wears his ‘gloves’ with style.

    Looking forward to Sat evening and may the sun shine again.

  47. Why not try Seamus o Shea in the full back position. Sean Flanagan, brought Paddy prendergast, a mid fielder, back to full back, for the 50/51, team, @ see what happened. He became known as the prince of full backs. With Clarke in goal’s and Seamus in front of him, we would have no worries of high balls or soft, full back line, ever again.
    Remember, David Brady, put back on donaghy,when it was too late, but he did a job.
    Imagine, this line up, Clarke Barrett o Shea Higgins, Keegan Vaughan Boyle parsons moran ,Mclaughlan a o Shea, d o Connor Regan k o Connor c Loftus,
    That s , some team,

  48. Good idea about s o Shea at full back we need to score more goals we missed a few sat so need to take them.

  49. we need Barrett, Parsons and loftus back to full fitness for us to have a chance at glory. if we had the likes of Dillon, Barry, Vaughan, Barrett and loftus pushing hard for a start we would be in great shape

  50. Seamus o Shea full back are ye might be grand when marking a donaghy type player but imagine him trying to mark a top class forward like brogan!
    There’s a reason he plays midfield for club and county.he def no full back!

    I agree we have a major problem at full back with caff out and there not to many options to solve it either unless try Stephen coen or Vaughan there or else hope the sweeper really works!

  51. I listened to the draw live this morning and couldn’t have been more pleased with how it worked out. Kildare will be another good test for us but for sure this is a match we should win, and with a bit to spare. Last Saturday evening we didn’t know what to expect from the team after the Galway defeat, but having come through it, especially with that good second half performance, the confidence will haven returned big time.

    Mayo may not win any silverware this year, as the road ahead seems a rough and rocky one, but each win that we can clock up will bring more confidence and more togetherness, and give a very inexperience Management team a better understanding of players and what tactics and setups work best. I know we’re not performing to anything near our full potential, so if we can step it up a notch or two all over the pitch we can definitely go places. For now though it’s very much one game at a time.

  52. Exactly Aidan.

    Seamie would be a disaster at full back if he had to mark a quick technical forward. I thought he had a good game the last day and should be left in midfield. Keane also kept Quigley quiet, aside from the mix up when Boyle was left to mark him. I would be fairly confident in him going forward.

    Leave Barry and Dillon as impact players when the opposition are tiring. Durcan and Freeman would be the 2 guys who could lose their place for the Kildare game. Vaughan and Doherty should probably start.

  53. The Higgins at half forward and Kevin Mc as temporary sweeper is working. It needs more time, practice and testing in competitive games but the longer we stay in the hunt the better we’ll become at it.
    I couldn’t help but seeing traits of McEntees Crossmaglen tactics on display at times. The inverted blanket defense, called the blanket attack, where you give up your middle third of the field, if your opponent goes short on their kickouts, and push right up to tackle hard and crowd them out. There’s two benefits to this. 1 If you turnover ball you are inside their 45 and three times more likely to score than if building from your own 45. 2 If they struggle to get through the blanket attack they’ll go long on their kickouts (which they did in the second half, into the wind) and we won almost everyone of their kickouts.
    Remember, Mayo won the toss and elected to play into the wind first half. We knew we were fitter and stronger than Fermanagh and that our legs would last. We knew we could use this tactic to our advantage in the second half.
    Rochford asked for patience. He said the football we’d be playing in January and February would not be the football we’d be playing in August.
    Hon Mayo.

  54. The downside to this tactic is if your opponent gets through the blanket attack, the middle third is exposed territory and your opponent can run clear down the middle. Fermanagh did this a number of times in the first half and got handy, wind assisted, scores. Their goal came from such a move.
    However, Mayo got to grips with their defensive shape better in the second half and forced Fermanagh wide down the sides. They swiped at a few efforts and some fell short.
    It’s not perfect by any means but we cannot go back to the “Horan” tactics again. That got us oh so close. But no cigar.

  55. Pebblesmeller I argued this with you last night elswhere, but you know what, watching back on it this evening I think you’re bang on. (Not that I’m surprised in fairness – you’re usually bang on about most things.)

    The only concern I would have is that it now feels like a race against time to get it “right”, and when we are left exposed like that, we are highly likely to concede goals, not points, particularly given the weakened state of our full back line.

    But I have to say I feel a lot more reassured after watching the game back than I did on Saturday evening.

    Now, I’m off to bed to dream about doing the Siege of Ennis on Tommy Carr’s head.

  56. K.Mc L and Keith Higgins as double sweepers anyone?pace to cover serious space, tighten defence and launch attacks from deep…the delivery of ball into forwards is painfully slow..more heads up football and careful foot passing between lines and into inside forwards needed..Building momentum but vital we don’t underestimate Kildare…

  57. A poster outlined above now with the safety net of Clarke in goal why not try someone else st full Back ?

    Seamus o she’a or Stephen coen

    What is the status in terms of Chris Barrett ?

  58. The non presence of any kind of a recognisable
    system is epitomised by the amount of attention that E REGAN has been getting in every game he’s played this year.Its a credit to those who welded his bits together last year that he has come through without something broken with the deal he’s been getting.And yet he takes it and shirks nothing.He is a proper little hero.His Plunkettesque pass to Higgins for Freemans goal through the legs while being gobbled up hasn’t gone unnoticed either.
    There was a time when there was a bit of ‘combination football’played between our forwards.Ill ask, where have JD and K McL gone to?And the answer is? Add in DOC and we see that we have been entirely obsessed with an over defensive set up…or is that our new famous system that I’ve accidentally unearthed? In those days JD and Kevin were part of a promising forward sector where scores were more frequently and easily taken.As has been pointed out we now have forwards defending and backs expected to be our scorers.Is it any wonder that our forward division is not clicking? It’s just pure stupid what’s going on Bloggers have been wondering what’s wrong …well this is what’s wrong and the blame rests with the planners!
    We have brilliant forwards in Diarmuid, Cillian, Evan,Aidan,Kevin Jason,Alan,Andy,etc..I’m out of breath naming them.
    It’s an absolute shame
    that this talent is being misused as has been the case now for so long.In fact it has become like an insidious disease that has taken to the field.Is this the management settling in?How feckin long does it take them and what about the footballers in the meantime???…..worn to a thread as the horizon looms closer and closer !
    Ok….it’s not so gloomy. We have the finest players but for f:;(€ sake it’s time they were allowed to do what they re best able to do. It’s time they got the balance right and they have been given plenty opportunity with our present schedule but I’d hate to think that it’s too too late!!

  59. One positive thought. Across two games now there has only been 3-4 goal chances in total. We used to give up 5-6 a game.

  60. Hope your dreams came true Anne Marie and that you were wearing high heels on tommys head. Expect a more open game on saturday so perphaps our forwards will get space. Kildare set up defensively in Leinster against Wexford and Westmeath because they were planning for tactics v dubs in final. It is not their natural game and it backfired. They reverted to normal on saturday and scored 1 22 and will fancy their chances of clocking up a decent score against our FB line which continues to look dodgy in the absence of the enforced Caff and the unenforced Higgins .Kildare are no world beaters but they have a lot of good footballers. They won promotion this year and knocked cork out of qualifiers last year before being whacked by kerry so lets not take them for granted. I would be tempted to play Coen in FB line, bring in Vaughan in HB and its a toss of coin between Freeman for whom I have high hopes but struggles to deliver and Jason Doc. Our subs worked well the last day but clamouring for Barry and Alan to start based on good 20 minutes is as wrong as being over critical of Andy for a not so good 15 minutes. All are crucially important to us , have given great service and Iam sure they will continue to dig us out of holes again in future.

  61. I think we all know we have a problemm in the fullback line and by the number of posts asking for an update on Chrissy Barett, alot of us with have more confidence with him in the fullback line.

    I dont belive there is an alternative to Keane and to be fair to Keane , he has done well to date and had a stormer of a league last year.
    The sweeper and additional cover in defence is the sweeper role to protect him and to allow him play to the bes tof his traits which are breaking high ball and the choke tackle.
    He is a fine strong man who can play old school fullback role and in the modern era needs the assistance of Boyler of Kevin Mc’s pace to play the sweeper .

    I do believe after this weekend we will be praising Keane and Clarke for their performance under aerial bombardment we will be getting from Kildare , which in turn will be a great lesson for potentially same from Donegal .

    I 100% agree with adding Coen to fullback line as he is good in the air, fast of the mark and has positional sense to tidy up breaks .

    Two players who havent got a look in for a while but potentially have the right traits to cause Kildare probelms are Cathal Carolan and Conor O Shea .
    Cathal s pace and direct running would be a great assist to freeing up Diarmid and also he is great at gathering breaks and being an outlet to create overlaps.

    Carolan at 12 and Higgins at 7 could be an option if Vaughan is 100% fit enought to start . Paddy Durcan is a lovely player but for these battles maybe lacking a bit physcially but none the less a lovely wing back, who aginst the right opposition be it McHughs of Donegal or Tiernan McCann would be one of the best options at 7 but for Kildare I think we need a bit more experience and grit .

    Conor O Shea should also be an option for us v Kildare his physical presence at CHF or FF would allow us to change Barry, Aidan or Seamie who ever starts midfield as with the battlefield that will be the center of the field this weekend we will need to change the lads as there is no way we should be dependent on any one man to last the pace and physical battle in midfield against Millock and co, if we can freshen it up we will be all the better for it .

    I think we are putting together a very useful squad and without being disrespectful to Kildare if we can tag on a few scores for Cillian and Regan it should help them gain Championship confidence and see them near reach their peaks in the coming weeks

    I am excited about this team once again and really look forward to the weekend .

  62. A big part of our problem is an inability to get the ball effectively from the half back line up to the forwards, and not having enough men up there when we do.
    Our half backs are stopping at the half way line and hand passing laterally or backwards. We need Donie Vaughan, Kevin Mc and Colm Boyle to all be given free reign to run at the opposition, and either lay off to another runner in the opposition’s territory or kick pass it into near the square. That would be extremely effective against the opposition we’re facing in the qualifiers. Maybe that’s a bit gung ho but we’re too cautious at the minute. Only Colm Boyle seems to make his way into the opposition’s half these days.

    We have been playing very defensively this year – I think the management team are still trying to perfect a system that would be effective against Dublin rather than beating what’s put in front of us in qualifiers. Who knows, that might pay off. There was a lot of criticism last year when we trialled the sweeper system against Dublin.

    Anyway as Jim McGuinness says in the Times today, you need a bridge between defense and the forwards when playing defensively, and we are lacking that at the minute.

    Still think we’ll beat Kildare, Maigh Eo abu

  63. Lots of good comments and another home draw. No new injuries to report so that’s bonus. Kildare took out cork last year in qualifiers so full attention please. I also read this morning that cork have 2 new additions to squad. Aiden Walsh and Alan cadogen. Now their hurling is over they have joined the footballers and two nice additions. Especially Walsh. The next day I would like dillon in attack. His composure and cuteness is needed. He is still good footballer. He can score. He would gel well also with o connors

  64. I’d love to see us going back to basics for the Kildare game drop the sweeper Zippy back in defence and Kevin up front let the defenders defend and the forwards score. It might not win us an All Ireland but it will improve our performances and it will give us all maybe the players included a bit more confidence

  65. Many on here suggesting playing different players at Full Back. The only problem is that this is a specialist position and if a player has not been playing at full back over a length of time they will be a failure .The same for playing half backs in the corner back positions.
    Cafferkey is a huge loss . Keane will be fine marking a certain type of full foward but ……

  66. Agree with a lot of posters. We are still play far too defensive. Not committing enough players into scoring positions. Freeman and COC spent far too much time the last day away from goal. It’s ridiculous and only slightly better than what Ross and Galway did on Sunday. We should be trying to replicate the Dublin template and not a very bad
    version of the McGuinness template.
    It will work against most teams but will ultimately will fail against the likes of Dublin which leaves us in the same failed position as previous years.

    That the reality folks.

  67. Lets not define our season by beating Dublin. If we make a quarter final we will have had several games to enjoy.
    Several squad members have drifted to mid 30’s/30 type age.
    U23s and U21s are only finding their feet at this level. You need at least three league and championship campaigns to be assured and confident at this level, that’s a mental more than physical thing.
    Losing Caff/Barret took a big bite out of the experienced heads in defence.
    Cillian/Diarmuid/SOS niggling injuries just back from.
    Enjoy the games.

  68. Everyone talking about alternative players and alternative formats is fine, but the concerning bottomline is that I don’t think anyone seems to really understand what it is we are trying to do, and that includes the players. They seem utterly confused at times, look at Brendan Harrison the last day, either he completely didn’t understand the instructions or he didn’t have any. Were we playing a running game, lateral passing game, what was it?
    Fundamentally, this team doesn’t have the time to set about a major change in the way they play. That takes 2 or 3 years to get to grips with. We have been inches away from being all Ireland champs over the past 5 years playing a certain way. I would have through the new management team should be coming in, tweaking a few small things, freshening things up with some new players where warranted, and doing our damndest to get over the line, and fixing our defensive problems within that style.
    To be fair to Pat and Noel that is what they did. The players who are the ones who really know what is going in, didn’t like whatever they were doing and threw them out. I respect their right to do that given the sacrifices they make.
    However I would say that what they weren’t expecting was a whole new change of style which I don’t know about the rest of ye but I cant make head nor tail of and unfortunately I don’t believe the core of this group of players have the mileage left on the clock to invest in. For me that’s the depressing summary of where we are currently at.

  69. Totally agree Cork Exile. I have enjoyed enough games PJ, but now I want us to win the All Ireland, nothing else will do for me and for most people I would imagine.
    I am sure Keith and Andy are not banking on a three year plan and want a coherent game plan in place now which sadly seems to be lacking.
    Sure we could all be defensive coaches and get a team to play with just one forward. I currently cannot see what differentiates the likes of Rochford, Walsh and McStay from any GAA club under 8 manager. What are they doing that is so tactically brilliant and ground breaking ?

  70. Great draw. Avoid the dangerous Cork and also back in our home patch. Superb opportunity to build up some more momentum against a tremendously average outfit. If we can’t beat these, we can absolutely throw our hat at it

    Funnily enough in a week’s time we could well be in a better position than Galway. Coming into the 4th round with serious momentum as opposed to a 6 day turnaround after throwing away at least one Connacht final. Wouldn’t have thought that listening to the doomsayers after the Connacht semi. Funny how things can work out. Same applies to Roscommon also. Are the Provinces really as important as the GAA market them? Like hell they are in this day and age. They are completely outdated at this stage but that’s for another day, p.s. roll on the Leinster Final Sunday 😀 😀

    As for Saturday, I’d imagine we could see 3 changes (I’d make three anyway). Vaughan for Durcan, Barry for Coen and Doc for Freeman. Hard to see them abandoning the “sweeper” now, as it’s clearly something they’ve been working on a while now.

    Anyhow I’m starting to get very upbeat again. I think these games will really stand to us if we can get through them and we potentially will come into an AIQF with serious momentum built up.

    Haven’t commented on it yet and haven’t read many comments here but how awful was that Connacht Final? Roscommon were absolutely appalling and Galway are worse for somehow not putting them away. Conditions were muck, granted, but the naivety and clueless-ness both teams displayed throughout beggared belief. Fancy Ros to see it out the next day on a dry day and by picking the players they finished with but they certainly won’t be feared in an AIQF

  71. I really hope there are no changes to the line up from last day other than positional, higgins to corner back full time.

    Harrison, Keane,Higgins by far our best fb line available. Its more games they need together not constant chopping and changing.

    Chrissy Barrett developing a case of feeney fever this morning. Chrissy is a solid defender and is needed back in the squad but Harrison has been very good all year and barring injury the place is his. Chrissy is just not as good as Higgins at corner back, our best available defenders should start at fb line

  72. Coming into this year we had two areas of concern…shakey-ish in front of goal and not quite enough ammo up front. The league campaign brought us a revived Caff and Regan + Loftus. The new era began with great interest and expectation. The new era continues in confusion and reinvention.
    Back then last year it was obvious that our FB needed more cover. Up front we knew there was a lack of an effective pattern that would gain us the result we needed.The state of things remain the same imo except now our policy is to turn the whole feckin cart upside down to hitch on the pony. Or to put it more gently….do we have to go and reinvent the wheel as some bloggers have detected. As far as I’m concerned a roof you put on the top of the house not under it . Forwards are for scoring, backs are for defending …or there abouts.
    Anyway I’m confident we ll do the work on Saturday and as someone said beimid in ar seasamh go leir when the team is led out onto the field by AIDO!!!

  73. Not often id disagree with you pebbles but i do here as regards kev mcgloughlin . Best link man in the game on his day , wasted sitting in front of fb line . We are so short of decent kick passers its robbing peter to pay paul and paul is gettin overpaid too.

  74. Sean Burke what did you think of the use of Kevin against Fermanagh? He sat in front of the FB line in the first half but operated more in front of the half back in the second half and got on a lot of ball. Think that’s what changed things in our favour ultimately. Good management tactics or crisis management???

    I don’t know but we need to be able to play with a sweeper wether this is required for the whole of every game I don’t know. There’s is a lot of differing opinions here and some great discussion but I have to say I’m starting to enjoy this qualifier ride!

  75. @outside of boot COS has got his look in in the league and I’m sorry but his performance against London was poor so I’d say he’s a bit down the pecking order. You’ll have Doherty Dillon or Loftus in ahead of him. For physicality I’d say Doherty or Loftus will be in half forward line if he does indeed make changes there

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