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John Lennon's glass is half-full

By John Campbell

His team may be marooned pointless at the bottom of Division 2B of the Allianz Hurling League, but Armagh manager John Lennon is not quite garbed in sackcloth and ashes.

If anything, the jovial Derrynoose clubman is actually upbeat about his team's prospects for the future as he finalises his preparations for tomorrow's confrontation with Mayo at the Athletic Grounds.

Lennon took over the reins from David Kennedy just shortly before the league got under way and while admitting that he faces an uphill battle to turn the team's fortunes round, he is nonetheless tackling this task with considerable gusto.

"We had a number of players who were not available to us at the start of the league campaign, but we have gradually been getting boys back on board," explains Lennon.

"I was thrust in at the deep end if you like, but I think that we are getting to grips with the situation now.

"Obviously a win on Sunday would be a timely boost and we will certainly be giving this tie our best shot."

With sharpshooter Declan Coulter back on board, Armagh's attacking armoury has been bolstered considerably, while skipper Ciaran Clifford, Nathan Curry, Paul Gaffney and John Corvan are other key players in the side.

Manager Lennon, while clearly keen to see his side avoid a whitewash in the league, is very much focussed on the future.

"I knew when I came into the job that it would take a bit of time to assemble the squad that I wanted and then to get them to play to a particular system," he said.

"We are in a very competitive division and we have already lost to Down, Wicklow, Meath and Fingal, but I would be trying to take the positives from those matches rather than dwelling on the negatives."

He can take comfort from the fact that Mattie Lennon is currently one of the top scorers in Division 2B and he can prove the catalyst for scores tomorrow against a Mayo side that lost to Wicklow last weekend.

Mayo's hurling stock has taken a tumble lately and they are currently just above Armagh in the league table with two points.

Belfast Telegraph

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