Armagh can put it right against Lilywhites

Steve Malone


Steve Malone


Wednesday 5 February 2020 14:05

IF the defeat to Laois was the wake-up call then Saturday’s clash against high-flyers Kildare is the time to respond.

Armagh have yet to make the Athletic Grounds a fortress but a result against the Lilywhites would go a long way to putting their season back on track.

Of course it is easier said than done, Kildare will also look to respond to their narrow loss to Clare at the weekend and welcome back a big player such as Eoin Doyle, while the Orchard men are sweating on the fitness of key men such as Rory Grugan, Aidan Forker and James Morgan and manager Kieran McGeeney knows his men must improve on the performance against Laois.

“There are a number of things but it all starts at an individual level,” McGeeney said.

“Just getting the basic skills right and that is where you have to start. Hand-passing, kick-passing, breaking the lines, we seemed to go backways every time we got the ball instead of going forward and that is not the way they are coached but sometimes that just happens in games.

“We have Kildare ahead of us Roscommon, Clare and Fermanagh, we don’t have any soft ones and we are looking for every point.

“I think it is a great pitch out there [O’Moore Park] and it is a great place to play but for some other reason when we come down here we play, I’ll not use the word, but it is not good.”

Armagh are in the same position they were in this time last season with two league points after as many games and again the Orchard boss is expecting a tough Divisional battle this year too, so a result against Kildare could be crucial if they are to have realistic ambitions of seeing Division One in 2021.

“At the minute we are sitting on two points after two games and it is not good and it is not bad it is somewhere in between,” McGeeney said.

“Kildare will probably be coming to Armagh thinking they get maximum points, they will have Eion Doyle back, Kevin Feely and all those fellas are back in place. Jackson is an out and out winner and they will be wanting to come to Armagh to get their next two points.

“The big things is that you need points on the board and everybody takes points off each other in this Division, we have seen this in Division Two before.

“Both times we have been relegated was on score difference, so every point counts, not just the points in the league but every point in every game. It is about gathering yourself and learning about the mistakes you have made and pushing forward.”

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