Derry captain Paddy Bradley is urging that greater prudence in terms of shot selection should be exercised when he leads his team into battle against Longford in the All-Ireland football qualifiers tonight.
Bradley is concerned that some Derry players have been taking wrong options when it comes to shooting and he’s hoping for a much healthier return from the attack as a whole.
He may have been his team’s best player by a distance when they went under to Donegal earlier this month but that is scant consolation to Bradley who is anxious to bring Derry as far as possible down the All-Ireland road in this his first term as captain under John Brennan.
“Last year in the Ulster final against Donegal our shot selection was pretty poor and sometimes it was the experienced players who were maybe guilty of this. Then again when we met Donegal earlier this month our shooting was not good and I think that the whole team will be very keen to rectify this situation against Longford tomorrow,” states Bradley.
He is keeping his fingers crossed that Derry’s confidence and buoyancy will return for a match that could have important repercussions for the well-being of football within the county.
“There is no doubt that we are under pressure to get a result. The experienced players have to give a lead against what is a good Longford outfit,” points out Bradley.
“We have good scoring forwards and that’s why they are county players because they make the right decisions.”
And it can be taken as certain
that the old hands in the side will be asked to set an example tomorrow.
“We have plenty of boys who can aspire to providing leadership when it is required so we have no worries on that score,” states Bradley.
The Glenullin clubman was devastated when Derry trooped off at MacCumhaill Park, Ballyfofey having been on the receiving end of a 10-point defeat at the hands of Donegal two weeks ago, which confined them to the qualifiers.
“We thought it was going to be tight as Ulster Championship games are usually decided in the last five or 10 minutes but that was certainly not the case against Donegal this time,” insists Bradley.
“I’ve played in plenty of Derry sides that have fallen flat on their faces and I certainly hope that this will not be the case again tomorrow night.”