There are a few post-match quotes from James Horan in today’s papers following our catatonic collapse up in Ballyshannon yesterday. I’ll get to the ones in the Irish Examiner and Irish Times in a minute, but, in case you haven’t seen them yet, here are the match reports from RTÉ, the Irish Independent and Hogan Stand.
As you can expect, James wasn’t exactly full of the joys of spring when the Fourth Estate caught up with him in the aftermath of yesterday’s hiding and he didn’t hold back in what he had to say either in his scathing observations on how his charges had performed.
We were just terrible today in every aspect of the game. We looked every bit a terrible team and we’ve got a bad beating, a very bad beating. We need to react in the right way. The amount of ball that we turned over today was unbelievable.
As I mentioned in last night’s match report, I was told after the game that we’d turned over the ball no fewer than 35 times over the 70 minutes – in other words, once every two minutes.
James goes on:
We wouldn’t have won a Division 4 game today, never mind a game in Division 2
And in Division One – where we still are (for now at least) – we’d get our holes well and truly kicked. Which is, of course, what happened yesterday.
James has more post-match quotes over in the Irish Times (where reporter Keith Duggan had a foot in both camps, as a Donegal native and a chronicler of our many misfortunes). Here’s the main one:
When you don’t have a platform of working hard enough, it gave Donegal an advantage. But a lot of the ball we turned over was unbelievable. We were terrible in every aspect of the game. We got a bad beating today and we need to react the right way to it. It could be a thousand little things. We will have to figure it out. But when you put in a performance like that, something is not right.
I know these are just words spoken in the immediate aftermath of a particularly scalding defeat but they’re not words that would fill me with any great confidence about the future. Why weren’t we working hard enough? And why weren’t switches made when it was obvious that those on the field weren’t doing the business?
While we’re on the topic of substitutes, why is the bench full of lads – such as Shane McHale, Aidan Campbell, Jason Gibbons and Alan Feeney – that James doesn’t appear to have any intention of using? You’d have to wonder what’s the point of involving guys that are unlikely to feature as subs, never mind ever getting a starting place.
And what’s the story with Cian O’Neill? I thought he was in charge of the physical side of things but by all accounts he seems to be the man calling the shots on the line during matches too. Isn’t that supposed to be the manager’s job?
It’s stating the obvious that “something is not right” at the minute. That “something” doesn’t, however, seem to be confined to our recent under-par performances on the field, with James and his colleagues on the sideline urgently needing to take a good hard look at their own displays too.