Losing the FAI Cup semi-final must have heartbreaking for the players and staff. How were they in the days that followed?
There’s still a lot of reflection going on. Overall the mood has been down. One of the realisation now, that was a great opportunity that we let slip. So there was a bit of disappointment there but at least the attitude has been good and it’s been open and honest, so that we try and look for fixes that we don’t come into this kind of situation again.
Everyone must have been disappointed with the manner of the two goals conceded, but going forward, was it frustrating that our normally good passing game never seemed to get going and we didn’t test the goalkeeper?
Yeah, I think both goals came from individual errors. What that led to then, instead of us still being calm and composed and playing our normal football, we were a little bit more rushed, a little bit more panicked. Because we were rushed and panicked, we made individual errors. Some bad passing, some bad passages of play, some bad decisions, just because we were trying to force things and rush things. So, again, at least it’s one of the lessons that the players have identified themselves and it’s one of those things that we’ll try and fix when we’re in that kind of situation again
Do you feel the group will learn from the experience and be better for it next year in the hunt for silverware?
That’s the plan. I’m still very proud of the work that the players have done and everything that they’ve bought into, and the growth and development that they’ve done over the last couple of months. When you look at how good we are now in comparison to where we were in January and February, when we just got together in pre-season, it’s chalk and cheese. So, the development has been absolutely astounding. If they keep on going at the rate that they have done over those last nine months or so, things can only look bright for the future.
One positive on the day was the record crowd. Unfortunately we couldn’t send them home with a final to look forward to but it was certainly huge support with lots of flags and colour on show?
Yeah, it was really nice that the fans did come on out to try and give us that extra support to get us through to a final, the players were very appreciative of it and it was one thing that we spoke about even at training yesterday as something that you know is there. That we can continually grow upon and if we can embed into the community and help grow that kind of support, and it’s something that the players and the team need but it was much appreciated.
DLR Waves are in eighth place, having lost their last five league games but they did put three goals past in the reverse fixture in May. What do you make of them at the moment?
They’re in a kind of a little transition period. I think they’ve lost some players during the break. They’re still one of those teams where you think you’re comfortably and on top, and you think it’s going to be easy for you and then all of a sudden you find yourself 1-0 down because they have a good counter-attack that they’ve built over the last couple of weeks. It’s never going to be an easy one but it’s one where we need to get back onto the bike quickly. These last four league games now give us an opportunity to rotate around the squad and give some players some opportunities to see how we build, and how we go forward between now and the start of next year.
With Peamount winning the league, is finishing in the top two something of a mini-target for the rest of the campaign?
Yeah, we said from the break we tried to set a target for ourselves within the league anyway to try and win as many games as we can from that break to the end of the season. We’ll be trying our best now to win each one of those last four games. I think it’d be nice for the group, for all the work that they have put in to come second to what has been a very, very good Peamount this year. Kudos must go to James and the team for the work that they’ve done because it was one of those things where we were hoping they would slip up. It might be this week, it might be next week, but they never did. They kept on going so kudos must go to them for being that consistent through the whole of the season. But for us and our achievements here, with a good framework built, it would be nice if we could get that runner-up spot.
What’s the latest on injuries?
It’s a clean bill of health with everybody fit and available. So Savannah McCarthy comes back into the squad as well after being out for a little bit with illness.