Flanagan Looking Forward As Tipp Come To Town

Thursday, 16 March 2017

PAT FLANAGAN is going through a difficult spell at the moment as manager of the Offaly senior footballers but his focus is on Sunday and picking up two points at home to Tipperary.

Last Sunday week, Offaly took a 30 point beating off Armagh to shatter their promotion hopes and put them on relegation watch. There was a massive backlash after the defeat but Flanagan insists his charges are looking ahead and keen to get back on track.

'When we resumed training (after the Armagh game), every player was there to a man and everybody was eager to put it behind us and to move on. We spoke about it in the dressing room and we said there is nobody else going to make this happen so we have to do that.

'The biggest defeat we suffered in league or championship in the last two and a half years before that was five points and it was difficult to understand why that happened on the day.

'I doubt very much that if we went up to Armagh for the next 10 Sundays that the same result would apply. There is nothing we can do about the past and we learn from it and move on.

'To be totally honest with you, these boys are putting in massive effort. There wasn't too many shouting off the rafters when we beat Antrim by 13 points having kicked 18 points from play.

'There are plenty out there to knock them but we don't worry about the likes of that. We know our standards and we try to set our standards to what we think is best suited.

'We were very disappointed with the result as we are not in a promotion situation like we were last year but we will dig deep and work hard to improve that. We will stick together and work hard', insisted the Offaly boss.

Speaking on Sunday's opponents, the Clara club man is expecting a hell of a challenge having seen Tipp impress last Saturday at home to Longford.

'It is going to be a big task. I was down watching Tipperary and Longford and Tipp looked very good on the night. They got a few early goals and packed the defence. We have no illusions over what it is going to be like. Tipperary have come a long way and built on the Minor success in recent years. It will be a good challenge and we are looking forward to it.'

Unfortunately, there is bad news on the injury front. Eoin Rigney and Conor McNamee will miss the game while there are also further concerns.

'Those two are big doubts and we have other concerns now over Eoin Carroll and David Hanlon. Hopefully they will come through. Johnny Maloney won't be fit for another few weeks and Niall McNamee is still recovering from his injury. Anton Sullivan is obviously not available to us for another while but hopefully we will have Brian Darby back for Sunday.

'He missed the game in Armagh; his wife had a baby boy and congratulations to them on that. There have been a few little things that haven't helped but for Sunday we have what we have and hopefully it will be enough to get us the result,' he said.


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