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We weren't at the races, admits deflated Barton

By Declan Bogue

Published 23/05/2016

Poor show: Damien Barton was unhappy with Derry
Poor show: Damien Barton was unhappy with Derry

Damian Barton emerged from a surely chastened dressing room to deliver a 'Mea Culpa.' "We were beaten, well beaten everywhere on the pitch. Losing any game is devastating but the manner in which we lost it is even more. It is confusing and devastating.

"It is my job to make sure that people are in the right place, quite obviously I did not do my job today."

Painful as it was for him, he continued: "We made it very easy for them. They suffocated a few of our attacks, we attacked down the middle which is where they wanted us to because they play with two sweepers.

"It was a bad day for us we gave no direct ball in to give our full-forward line something to work with. We were too static around the middle and worked the ball sideways.

"I thought we looked tired at times. I have to accept responsibility in terms of the whole package, and as to whether emotionally were we right? 11 points of a deficit with them pulling up at the end, I think we are much better than that."

Having identified himself as the main cause of the blame, he then cast the net a little further and dredged in a few others.

"People have to manage on the pitch. I thought our leaders today did not stand up from the youngest to the oldest. That is where we are. I said to the boys we have two competitions, Ulster and the All-Ireland, but what has happened over the years is that we have not taken the qualifiers too seriously."

They may be without their captain Chrissy McKaigue for the opening round of the qualifiers, dismissed on a straight red for an elbow on Colm Cavanagh that was as needless as it was pointless, with three minutes of the game remaining.

"I thought it was very harsh. Chrissy put up his arm and he tells me Colm walked into it. I don't know," Barton said.

"Again, I am not lamenting because we got beat, but somebody told me once that whenever you trip somebody you are black-carded.

"I think Colm made a great attempt at Gareth McKinless," he added, referring to a possible hand-trip by Cavanagh on the Ballinderry wing-back that went unpunished.

As for a possible suspension for McKaigue, his manager claimed, "We will appeal it. If he struck with his elbow then he deserved to be sent off but I will have to get a look at it."

He added: "I think it's quite bizarre, the ease at which some teams get frees compared to others.

"Championship football is ruthless, it's devastating, as it should be. It's just the nature of it. We are out of one competition, we are into another. We have to focus on that, hopefully get a favourable draw, nothing is easy in Championship."

Belfast Telegraph

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