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Armagh need to put together a run to regain some much-needed confidence, admits McGeeney

By Declan Bogue

Published 30/05/2016

Armagh manager Kieran McGeeney
Armagh manager Kieran McGeeney

When the question came, Kieran McGeeney didn't shirk it.

Asked if confidence in Armagh is low, he answered: "It is. When you're playing football you're trying to take calculated risks against a counter-attacking team.

"You never want them to be that paralysed by making a mistake that they don't see those gaps. The pass into Soupie (Stefan Campbell), Rory (Grugan) hit a beautiful pass and he turned and took the score even though he had a couple of runners.

"It's those types of passes that open defences up and you'd love to see more of them. Rory is excellent at that, as is Tony (Kernan). But that is an inner thing."

For all Cavan's dominance, Armagh might have found themselves within a kick of the ball had Campbell converted that 57th minute penalty.

"If we'd have taken that penalty then all of a sudden everyone else is prepared to take that bit more of a risk," mused McGeeney. "It (confidence) probably is short, but that comes with winning. They're good enough to get there but I'm sure I'll hear about it over the next couple of days."

Looking slightly shell-shocked, McGeeney was contemplating his second Ulster Championship game in charge of his native county, both heavy defeats.

It looks and appears to be a huge emotional drain on him. When asked, he responded: "Everybody has their own way of looking at things. It depends on how much importance you put on everything.

"But it's tough to take. I always have a huge emotional input into football so it's tough to take."

Armagh go into the 'B' side of the All-Ireland qualifiers and could be without Ethan Rafferty who broke a bone in his hand. James Morgan is scheduled to have an operation on his hand that he delayed for this game.

As the subject of some personal abuse from some pundits, it was unsurprising that McGeeney declined to do a post-match interview for RTÉ. He knows that there is a backlash coming, but also that some of his own county men won't be far away from it either.

"There's some people who will use it for personal steps but we're not too far away," he explained. "I thought six points would have kept us in Division Two, but it didn't. We'll need a run this summer."

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