Laois manager Eamonn Kelly.
Laois manager Eamonn Kelly has called for a quick response from his side after they slipped to a disappointing five point loss against Westmeath.
The result now leaves Laois needing to pick up a victory against Kerry in Tralee this Sunday if they are to keep their hopes of success alive in this competition, and after Kerry is another tough game against Antrim.
“It’s not going to be easy going to either of them” said Kelly after Saturday's loss. “But, if we can win the two away ones now we can suffer not winning the home one.
“We’ve a good bunch of guys there and they’re not happy with the performance either. Maybe we’re not happy with some of things we did so we have to see can we try turn it around and get back in the saddle fairly quick.”
As he alluded to in those comments, Kelly admitted the Laois dressing room was not a great place to be after the game. “Very disappointed, we didn’t go out today to be beaten. We were beaten by probably the better side on the day.
“They were full credit for their win. They were hungrier, they were onto breaking ball, their touch seemed to be way slicker than us, even in the first half. Even when we were three points up at half-time, we probably didn’t deserve to be.
“But this is a league system and we don’t have long to lick our wounds, there’s a quick turnaround here, we’ll see what we can learn from this and try turn it around against Kerry.”
On the day, Laois just didn't turn up, with too many of their key players failing to find form, and that was something the manager acknowledged afterwards. “We said inside that if we asked the question, ‘how many fellas played to their potential’? it was very few. You have to credit Westmeath with that.
“We’re disappointed we lost but we have to give full value to Westmeath. They’re a very good side and we knew that coming in.
“Their U-21s were after beating Kilkenny in the last couple years and they gave Tipperary a right rattle last year. They are a good side and they probably got caught in that league final so they were probably looking for revenge there today and they certainly got it.”
With such a tight schedule Laois were hit with two injuries in this game, and Kelly gave updates on both. “Lee (Cleere) got a cut on the knee, Neil probably pulled his hamstring so he’ll be a while. We’ve two games now in two weeks so he’ll find it very, very difficult to get back by then.