Ryan Looking Forward As Trip To Tralee To Determine League Fate
Thursday, 16 March 2017
OFFALY may have come up five points short against Wexford on Sunday but Kevin Ryan was encouraged by the step up in performance from his charges as they now look to their final league game with Kerry in Tralee on Sunday week.
Offaly may be pointless to date but a win over Kerry would put them through to the quarter finals on score difference presuming Wexford beat Laois in Wexford Park.
Despite still searching for that first league win, Kevin Ryan can see his side turning the corner.
'That's just what we're talking about there, we were talking about it last week and I know people wouldn't traditionally look at Laois as being as good as Galway but we felt that second of the Laois game, and we spoke about it after, although it was a different calibre of opposition, when we were down to 13 men I reckon we saw something that night, that bit in them.
'They've worked extremely hard, they've trained very hard and I thought they performed better again last week and slightly better again today even though obviously we were looking for a win or a draw to give us that point to nearly ensure that a win in Kerry would get you there.
'It's better, you know, we're getting longer performances. We're working harder for longer. We're looking around the corner here trying to get on the straight and hopefully if we keep improving bit by bit we will get there.'
Ryan admitted after the game that the management team had been very conscious of scoring difference given that it could come down to that on Sunday week
'Obviously as management we're very conscious of that too. But as we said in the last two weeks, the best way of keeping games tight is to go and win them and that's what we've done. We set up differently both days, not defensively but what we thought would deliver best for us.
'Of course, Wexford have to beat Laois and if that happens then it's winner takes all between ourselves and Kerry. It's out of our hands a little bit but it's definitely in our hands in terms of going and having a battle with Kerry. There's probably a window there that wasn't there, or that you couldn't see a couple of weeks ago. We'll do everything we can for the next two weeks to have a serious go off that.'
In terms of injuries, there is mixed news. David King and Stephen Quirke both made returns but Sean Ryan and Paddy Delaney had to leave the fray with injuries with Sean Ryan looking unlikely to make the trip to Tralee.
'A groin strain', said Kevin Ryan of his captain. 'It was a bit tight earlier. I don't know how bad it is, being honest. It's probably a little more serious than it was, hopefully it's not a long-term thing but it's unlikely two weeks would get him back there. But we're starting to get one or two back. Having David King back out there was fantastic, even just to get him through a half hour. Stephen Quirke was able to start today and there's one or two others that are close.
'If we can just hang in there and keep things positive and keep people off our backs and see where we can take it. Again, we feel, whatever the results, that we're gradually improving. We're working harder and harder and harder that's all we can do.'
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