"Our discipline has to improve" admits Fermanagh boss Gallagher
FERMANAGH manager Rory Gallagher admits his side must improve their discipline if they are to challenge for honours this year.
They were already under pressure against Armagh in Brewster Park yesterday, clinging to a one-point lead against the wind, when Daniel Teague was sent off on a straight red card after appearing to throw a kick at Gregory McCabe as they tangled.
Moments later Aidan Breen was dismissed on a second booking for a late tackle on Andy Murnin along the sideline, yet the Ernemen hung tight to squeeze a draw out of it and keep their promotion hopes in their own hands.
They looked in control against Westmeath last week until Cian McManus picked up a second booking, while their other competitive defeat this year came in the McKenna Cup against Tyrone, when Kane Connor was sent off in the first half.
“Whatever about Aidan's, I was disappointed about the straight red card. We don't want indiscipline,” said Gallagher.
“The two games we have lost this year we have lost two men in them and in the modern game it's not often you see 14 men beat 15.
“We battled unbelievably well. We went down to 13 men and it would have been easy to throw the towel in.
“There was a bit of cynical play on Decky McCusker, we wanted to take it free and we weren't allowed to and it wasn't moved in, that gets moved in, Seamy taps it over the bar,” said the Fermanagh boss of a late free on the Armagh 45' that Seamus Quigley dropped short into the wind.
“You know, the first half Armagh set out to stop a few of our runners, but look, it was very difficult conditions. There was a swirling breeze, difficult to score.
“We had it in the first, they kind of had it in the second. Four points up at half time wasn't enough, we would have liked to have had it seven or eight.
“Defensively, we were sound. The game favoured defences when it finished seven-each. But we have got to punish a bit more.”
Kieran McGeeney bore a happy complexion as he emerged from the Armagh changing room, their promotion secured with not that much noise.
The permutations of their draw coupled with Longford's win over Westmeath seemed to focus the mind on who would win out on the final day, while Armagh slipped quietly out the door after a couple of testing seasons in the third tier.
“Delighted with that. We probably could have played a wee bit better and finished a wee bit stronger but it was a tough game. Definitely not one for the purists,” said McGeeney.
“It was great to get a point out of it, we couldn't seem to get going. We tried not to make any mistakes this year and get out of Division Three, and we did that.
“We missed loads, we went through for two goal chances and missed those too, and we just seemed to be at sixes and sevens. Fermanagh were well organised, they've a good defensive setup and whether people like it or not, it's a good system. It suits them.
“They're great on the break, very quick on the counter, and they were accurate from free kicks in the first half where we weren't. The second half showed for them it was a hard breeze.
“We played much better but we missed a lot, I think we had 18 shots from play and to get seven points of it was a poor return. I'm happy with the fact we got promoted so I'll not be too picky today.