Laois manager Teddy McCarthy had just overseen one of the worst Leinster championship defeats in many years, but he was bullish in his defence and made it clear that he had no intention of walking away from the task. “I came in January and we were down on a very low level at the time.
“As I said, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and they (County Board) gave me a three year term, to be reviewed after every 12 months, and so I am around for the long haul, and we will see what I can do. As I said Anthony Daly is there three or four years and this is what he has. I will stay around and I think it is positive with the Laois minors in the semi-final of the Leinster and they are a nice bunch of lads. I think that the future is bright for Laois hurling, it is just to give it a bit of time.
“We are into the qualifiers now. We had a good victory against Carlow and all we can do is take baby steps and we will grow up one of these days.”
It had been a tough baptism for the former Cork dual star in his first Leinster campaign. “You know, what can I say? When you are up playing with the big boys this is what happens. Dublin are probably in the top three or four teams in the last couple of years and obviously they hit the ground running.
“The one good thing as I said to our boys in there is that we have the qualifiers, and obviously if we hadn’t got the qualifiers then we wouldn’t be able to pick ourselves up. It all depends now on how we respond in the qualifiers.”
But it will surely be a huge task to regroup and come back for the qualifiers? “Look, it is going to be very difficult but that is up to the individuals themselves, and obviously we are all leaders in our own right and obviously we will be expecting leadership from the Laois boys. They are a great bunch of boys and obviously people don’t know the work that they put in. They have worked diligently and worked very hard and today’s performance is very disappointing. These days will happen sometimes but we will bounce back and we will get a result.”
Surely the manager wasn’t expecting as bad a beating as this? “Obviously. If we were then we wouldn’t be here. It’s disappointing. I’m disappointed. The players are disappointed but look, as I said, I just felt like that when things go against us that we have to learn that people have to stand up, and I just felt like that when Dublin got the crucial scores at the start that we would stay on their coat tails, upset them and keep in their face but it didn’t happen. This is where we want leaders and need leaders to keep Laois going.”
Dublin were playing the game at a different pace to his side. “Of course they were and it was easy see that, but it is easy play at a different pace when they got two or three goals on the bounce.”
Did the poor league campaign affect the championship? “Ah suer look lads, that’s it now. Division 1B is a very competitive division. Everybody knows that and Dublin are in it next year and they could be playing in it as All-Ireland champions. Who knows, they will go close enough to it.”