NHL DIVISION 1B

Kelly admits confidence is low after loss to Kerry

Sports Editor

Reporter:

Sports Editor

Email:

rory@leinsterexpress.ie

Kelly admits confidence is low after loss to Kerry

Eamonn Kelly is looking for his side to bounce back this Saturday night against Offaly.

Laois manager Eamonn Kelly admitted he will have to restore some confidence to his players after they were stunned by a second-half comeback from Kerry in Tralee on Sunday.

Laois were nine points up at half time and looked to be heading for a crucial victory, but were overwhelmed by a rampant Kerry in the second half.

Speaking afterwards, Kelly admitted to his disappointment at their disappearance from the game in the closing stages. “We were hurling very well and I felt at half time we were in a good place.

“They got the goal from the penalty early in the second half but we came back and got two points straight away. But then we didn’t score for 15 or 20 minutes. It’s something we’ll have to look at. It’s difficult at the minute to say what exactly went wrong.

“We’re very disappointed. I felt coming down we had a good shout. We looked dead (after the goals) – I don’t have an answer for you. We need to take a look at it and see what we can learn from it.

“We spoke this morning about getting a performance for the full game, we got a performance for two-third of it, and we didn’t turn up at all in the final third.”

After the manner of the defeat, Kelly admitted he will have to try to lift his players ahead of this weekend's clash with Offaly. “I’ve a lot to do to pick up the lads. Confidence is low and we’ve a lot to do to try and pick them up over the next couple of days.”

The disappointment at their performance will stem from the manner in which they went out of the game, as they wilted when Kerry put them under pressure in the second half.

Having been sprightly and dangerous in the first half, Laois were second to the ball in the second half, and the rot set in with an early penalty converted by the Kingdom.

Laois initially responded well to that setback, but were eventually overwhelmed by the home side. “We were flatter (in the second half), I don’t know what it was” said Kelly afterwards.

“Maybe the scoreboard might have flattered us a small bit at half time, they had a lot of scoreable frees that they didn’t convert.

“We have to regroup. We have a quick turnaround. We have only six days to get over this thing, we have Offaly coming next Saturday evening so we have to see what we can learn from today and turn it around.”

For now, Laois will have to put the loss behind them ahead of the game with Offaly because, as Kelly pointed out, if they start to feel sorry for themselves the losses will rack up quickly. “Of course it’s back to the drawing board now. We need to take a look at it. In some parts of the game, guys played very well. In other areas lads played very well for periods and then faded out of it. We’ve to look at it.

“We’ll all sit down as a management team and see what we can take out of it, see can we bounce back.

“None of us came down here not to win. We’re disappointed that we didn’t perform for an hour. We were beaten by the better side. You can lick your wounds and hold you head down but then you’ll be beaten two days in a row.”