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O'Dowd: I won't walk away from Meath job

By Declan Bogue

Mick O'Dowd has been in charge of Meath for three years, and looked like a man who had spent the best part of that time hitting his head off a wall as he conducted post-match interviews after the loss at Healy Park.

Asked if he would seek more time in charge, he answered tersely: "The clubs in Meath will decide that. I personally wouldn't step away from this group but there is a lot of discussion and decisions to be made.

"In the past, that instability has hampered Meath's progress but as I say, it's up to the clubs."

Already, some players have declared they want O'Dowd to stay, not least defender Donal Keogan. Asked how much more there is in this group, O'Dowd replied: "My goal has been to get Meath into the top eight and we haven't achieved it. I think that's an achievable goal."

He denied that the last 20 minutes of the Leinster final, which saw an incredible collapse and a first-ever Championship loss to Westmeath, might have had an effect on the morale of the group, commenting: "There's no doubt the loss and the disappointment was incredible. I don't think there is any hangover from the Westmeath game. I just think we came up short on the day."

One thing he has introduced is a versatility of styles that wasn't there before and it has helped them to win certain games. He adapted here to an ultra-defensive game and only for Tyrone getting the only goal of the game, might have taken their scalp.

As for his parting opinion on the Red Hands, he declared: "I suppose they have fellas who have All-Ireland medals. Then there's Under-21 winners as well.

"I couldn't give a full assessment, but they know how to win games."

Belfast Telegraph

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