LONDON senior football manager Ciaran Deely believes a greater element of patience could have made the difference as his side fell to a second National League defeat in as many games at the hands of Carlow.
The Exiles were seven points down at half-time after conceding three goals in the opening period, but they clawed their way back into proceedings with the wind against them in the second-half.
They ultimately fell to a loss by a two-point margin at the Irish TV Grounds – where the final score was 1-11 to 4-4 to Carlow – but Deely remains upbeat despite being frustrated at his side’s excessive urgency when in possession in the first-half.
“The first-half performance, obviously, wasn’t good,” he told The Irish Post. “But, looking at the scoreboard, we shipped four goals and we still only lost the game by two points. In that sense, it’s definitely a positive performance.
“We’ve lost to a good Carlow team. I just thought, in possession, especially in the first-half, we needed to be more patient on the ball and just work the ball through the hand a little bit more. We were probably a little bit too eager, with the wind behind us, to actually play it in early and play it in long.”
Similarly, Deely’s counterpart Turlough O’Brien felt his side played better football when facing the wind and breathed a sigh of relief as his side clung on for the victory late on.
“I thought we did really well in the first-half,” he told The Irish Post. “But we were desperate in the second-half, which I was very disappointed about. The conditions were very difficult; the pitch was very heavy and the wind was very strong.
“I think both sides actually played better against the wind than with the wind for some mysterious reason. Perhaps we thought we were home and dry at half-time, and maybe that’s why we were a bit casual in the second-half. But a win was very important, it’s not an easy place to get a win.”
Meanwhile, with two black cards and four yellow cards received in the match, Deely put London’s ill-discipline down to “a lack of concentration” and is more concerned by his team’s fitness levels, although he insists they are on the up.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do and we have a little bit of a fitness issue, but even little things like our handling and stuff like that, we need to work on.
“Mark [Gottsche] has been carrying an injury since St Stephen’s Day. We really didn’t want to put him on too early. He’s a huge, huge player for us and to the lads. But bit-by-bit we’re getting players back fully fit now.”
London’s next outing is a trip to Deely’s home county of Wexford on February 27.