By Larry Cooney
London selector Joe Coulter says the Exiles must be more clinical and disciplined if they are to compete against sides like Derry, who are many peoples’ favourites to win Division 4.
Sunday’s seven-point defeat in Ballinascreen left Ciaran Deely’s side still searching for their first win of the campaign, with Wexford the visitors to McGovern Park on Sunday (2pm) in Round 3.
“Against a team of Derry’s quality we gave too many balls away and subsequently paid the price on a number of occasions, and left possibly four or five points behind,” Coulter told the Irish World.
“If we had any chance against a team of their quality we needed to take as many of these scoring opportunities as possible.
“We did not perform as well as we could have, especially in the first half when we should have scored more and missed some good chances. I thought London played slightly better against Limerick.”
Having run Limerick to a point, London were still left with plenty of positives to take from Sunday’s defeat to Derry.
“Defensively I thought the team coped well and kept another clean sheet which is quite satisfying, but more importantly the attitude and spirit in the team kept them going right up to the final whistle,” added Coulter.
For the second week in a row, London scored the last three points of the game.
Coulter added: “It was important that we kept plugging away right up to the final whistle and a number of substitutes were also introduced who did well and will be putting their hands up for a starting place next week against Wexford.
“The players will learn from today’s experience from probably the best team in Division 4.”
Two of the new recruits, namely Sligo natives James Hynes and Eoin Flanagan acquitted themselves well with Flanagan replacing Hynes midway through the first half.
“These two boys have added some depth to the squad and their experience will also prove invaluable to what is now a settled squad, which includes up to 13 London-born players, six of whom made the starting XV in Ballinascreen,” said Coulter, who expects to see further improvement from London against Wexford.
“The players will have learnt for today’s experience and after sitting down and looking at the video clips and analysis it is our aim to improve ahead of these tough tests,” concluded the London selector.