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‘I’d bottle it and sell it’: Kieran McGeeney baffled by Armagh’s slow start in Championship win over Antrim

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Rory Grugan celebrates. Credit: INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

Rory Grugan celebrates. Credit: INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

©INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

Enda McGinley. Credit: INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

Enda McGinley. Credit: INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

©INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

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Rory Grugan celebrates. Credit: INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

Winning Armagh manager Kieran McGeeney was asked a question that was basic in it’s concept, but brilliant in the answer it provoked.

When you produce a flat first-half, can you sense it coming?

“No,” said McGeeney.

“You can’t. At times you are going into matches thinking that you are ready and other times going in thinking, ‘Jesus… What are they at?’

“If I knew the answer to that I’d bottle it and sell it ...it would even be something as trivial as the first ball it can send one player one way and another the other.

“Some people just do well under adversity and when the game slows down some players get more space and when it speeds up others play better.”

He continued: “I genuinely don’t know, That’s just me there could be boys out there that do it’s hard to gauge but the things you can take care of your attitude your commitment your desire those things that are immeasurable they are the things that make the difference but you don’t know what way they are.”

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At the end of the day, this game was won in the gym, over the course of years. Armagh had too much power, too much stamina for Antrim. Saffrons manager Enda McGinley acknowledged as much.

“Conditioning wise, absolutely there is a gap there but that’s hard to make up in a short space of time and whenever you’re behind and chasing the game that also affects the legs,” he said of the second half fade-out.

“If we had got a momentum boost like a goal that suddenly helps the energy levels as well, so I would still say our boys were finishing well and they emptied their bench as well. There is work to do on that front, but that isn’t a particular surprise.”

And no complaints about no back door?

“Again, we just need to man up. That’s the situation and we can all understand why it is,” McGinley said.

“We had a chance to prolong our season today if we did absolutely everything perfectly and maybe Armagh had an off-day. But we didn’t take it.”


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