Rory disappointed on many fronts


Rory disappointed on many fronts

Disappointment was the word that permeated the words of Donegal manager, Rory Gallagher, as he spoke to the press outside the Donegal dressing room in Tralee yesterday.

Gallagher was suitably calmed at that stage, but in the immediate aftermath of the game, he was far from happy with the challenge presented by Kerry in what was an ugly game of football, especially in the first half.

Donegal, who started without the injured All-Star Frank McGlynn, were in the game with a real chance when they got on level terms early in the second half, thanks to four points in seven minutes. But they were unable to kick on and Kerry finished much the stronger.

The Donegal manager completed interviews with RTE before coming back to the written press and was wondering if the assembled national press were going to comment on the way Kerry played the game.

"I'm disappointed we lost. We came down here really looking forward to the game," said the Donegal boss.

"I suppose getting ourselves into a strong position, getting level, and playing with the breeze, we have to be disappointed that Kerry really showed the more hunger.

"I would be disappointed with our defending for the goal; we switched off for the goal and then they had a couple of frees moved on so I would be disappointed with our discipline," said Gallagher.

Asked to comment specifically on the referee, Gallagher was choosing his words carefully.

"To be fair to him, it's not easy to see everything; there was a lot going on. I would be disappointed with Leo (his sending off). I didn't see the Kerry sending off or I didn't see Leo's but I was speaking to Leo when he came off and he said he didn't do a lot. He thought he was getting a second yellow card; he thought it was a shoving match.

"I wasn't happy when we lost a man; we were in a good position and then with a strong breeze, I thought we would push on.

"I was disappointed it went to 14 each but look, I was more disappointed with our own performance in many ways," said Gallagher, who didn't really want to talk about other aspects of the Kerry part of the game, but did express the opinion that at least one other Kerry player should have seen red.

The Donegal boss would not comment on the two red cards that were dished out saying that he hadn't seen either incident.

Asked about the Donegal performance and especially that of the younger players, Gallagher was more positive.

"I thought Eoghan Ban Gallagher did very well on his debut. It was a big challenge for a fella 19 years of age to go into a game like that and I felt he acquitted himself very well. That game will take on the likes of Eoin McHugh so there are lots of positives."

But the word disappointment soon returned to the fray with Gallagher again referring to the fact that Donegal had worked themselves into a good position early in the second half but did not build on that.

"I would be really disappointed in that. We had got a platform in the middle of the field. In the first seven or eight minutes (of the second half) we got level. We were in the ascendancy, but then we switched off and Kerry got the goal.

"The goal gave them that grip and they played very well. They played some really smart football after that," said Gallagher.

Asked about the absence of Frank McGlynn, Gallagher said he had picked up a knock. "If it had been a championship game we would have taken a chance, but not in a game like this," said Gallagher.

So it's a first defeat for Donegal but they are still in a strong position near the top of the table and next weekend's joust with Roscommon will be something to look forward to.