“I don’t know why we didn’t perform at home. We created enough chances. We created goal chances and we’re just not taking them.”
That was the initial reaction of Offaly manager Tom Cribbin after his side’s disappointing defeat at the hands of Tipperary on Sunday.
Speaking after the game the manager said he was happy with the work-rate but re-iterated that the missed chances, particularly in the first-half, proved very costly.
“Our work-rate was decent enough but we just didn’t kill them off. The first 25 minutes in the first-half we were all over them and we just missed a lot of easy frees again and its coming back to bite us. We should have been eight or ten points up and driving on but instead of that we were after working extremely hard to go in just three points up and put ourselves under pressure.”
Offaly wasted a number of chances in the closing stages including a close range free and another where a close range free became a throw ball after the linesman spotted an off the ball incident.
However Tom Cribbin was quick to point at that the defeat was not just because of those occurences.
“There was a point in it at the end but that wasn’t just down to those two incidents. Our discipline was poor enough and we just kicked too many wides early on when we should have capitalised and drove the game home. We just didn’t and that’s the bottom line.”
Offaly came into the game off the back of two fine away wins against Limerick and Louth. Tom Cribbin explained that training had been lighter than usual this week but that despite that he felt the players looked to be lacking energy.
“We looked as if we had no energy and we really took it easy this week at training because we put so much into the game last week. We just had short and snappy sessions and freshened up the lads but we didn’t play like that. Even though we created a lot of chances, we looked under pressure. We gave away and awful lot of ball.
“The guys are gutted in there, same as the whole backroom team. Everyone is absolutely gutted because we are working extremely hard to try and get our form consistent. We put two away wins together and we needed to deliver at home and we didn’t deliver.
Despite the defeat, Offaly still all but control their own destiny and two more wins should be enough to gain promotion. Tom Cribbin agrees that it is all to play for.
“It’s still all to play for with Louth losing as well. We’re going to have to go to Waterford now and the way this year is going we are probably better off away from home. We’re going to have to go down and get a result now.”
He agreed that the last game against Westmeath could yet be crucial but he would not be drawn further preferring to focus on the next challenge against Waterford.
“It could be crucial for both teams but we’ll take one game at a time. We’ll try and deal with Waterford first and I’m sure they’re thinking the same way. This group is so tight now. There’s a lot of teams on four points and there are others on three and five so teams are expecting now that any team could get in for that second position.”
Influential midfielder Niall Smith left the game with an ankle in jury in the first half after an awkward foul and Tom Cribbin is hoping it won’t be a long term absence.
“I’m not sure exactly what happened to him but Niall Smith heard a crack in his ankle and the foot and he had no power in it whatsoever. We’re hoping that there isn’t a broken bone in there.”