Derry ladies won’t panic after poor start

DERRY ladies manager Odhran McNeilly says that it is far too early for him or his team to be panicking.

The Oak Leaf ladies team lost their opening two games of the National League, to Antrim and Leitrim, and are out of the running for league final placings.

Yet McNeilly, who is in his first year in charge, says there is plenty to be positive about.

“There has been a bit of disappointment from the players. They have sacrificed and worked hard and they wanted to see a bit of return from that. By that I mean results, they haven’t came but we have to take the positive out of it.

“Our preparation leading into the National League was very good. We played Tyrone and we played Fermanagh. We performed very well against Tyrone. That was to our detriment as it increased expectations ten-fold. Everyone thought that we were further ahead than we were. We played Fermanagh and they kind of brought us down to earth.

“We still knew we had a fair bit of work done. But we were disappointed with our performance against Antrim in the first round of the league. We probably put too much emphasis on trying to get off to a good start and trying to get a good approach. It just didn’t work out.”

Derry then went on to lose to Leitrim by 1-18 to 0-7. McNeilly admitted that that looks like a one-sided affair but it is not a true reflection of the game.

“We performed an awful lot better against Leitrim, and the scoreline was harsh enough.

“We had opportunities to be in it for a lot longer.

“We have Louth this weekend and although the league is gone for us, the Ulster Championship is at the end of June. We will work towards that.”

McNeilly said that he had wanted to bring a style and an identity to the team. He says that they are still trying to find a system that suits the players that he has.

“We are trying to get the right fit and we are definitely not the finished article.

“We are not worried. In this day and age people want a quick turn around of results. But after the first few results we had to take a step back and look at it. We have six or seven weeks of good work done. We were hoping for better, and to try and get a win, but we didn’t.

“We have to take the positives. We have seen small improvements. It is going to take a little bit of time to get where we want to go.

“On the flip side the girls have seen where we want to go. We haven’t got our rewards but we are sticking with the job at hand of trying to get there.”

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