London manager Ciaran Deely wasn’t making any excuses, as his side succumbed to an opening round Allianz Football League Division 4 defeat to Louth on Sunday
By Cóilín Duffy
Two early goals cost the visitors, who were always playing catch up after that, with London’s preparations in stark contrast to the Wee County, who had four games in the Bord na Móna O’Byrne Cup in January, having reached the semi-final stage.
“We knew from the first minute that our fitness levels weren’t as high as Louth, and we knew that coming into the game,” Deely said.
“It was just a case of trying to bed things in. We had five starting debutants on the team and then another two lads came on to make their debut as substitutes.”
London have struggled at the start of the league in recent seasons to get wins under their belts. Despite suffering yet another first-round defeat, Deely was impressed with the performance of his charges.
“You are always going to be disappointed when you lose, and we did lose. “Once they had scored the two goals, we probably didn’t look like we were going to win after that because we were four or five points down.
“In the lead up to the first goal we controlled the game well. We were ahead and we were picking off a few scores, so the gameplan was working well.
“With 15 minutes to go, the options were do you go all out and try and rescue the game; or do you stay set up well and see how things go in the last few minutes?
“We took the latter approach. We thought things were going quite well, and there was always going to be a chance at the end to win it.”
Looking ahead to the game against Carlow next Saturday in Ruislip, the visitors are coming off a loss to Antrim last week – a rare win for the Saffrons. There’s an interesting game ahead.
“Carlow are a good team. Everything is done very professionally and teams are set up well. It’s only six days later – our fitness levels will have improved massively from the weekend, but we are still behind other teams,” Deely said.
“We are still trying to bed lads in. We are really looking for a really, good mature performance. We are looking to be competitive in every sense this year, and be in the mix.
“Obviously we are looking to get points on the board, but the biggest thing is to keep that trajectory moving every game, and falling into a rhythm at this stage.”