Offaly are now under pressure after two defeats from three games
Offaly manager Pat Flanagan has been reacting to a five-point defeat at the weekend as his side went down 2-13 to 0-14 at the hands of the unbeaten Louth. It was Offaly's second defeat in three games in Division 3 of the Allianz National Football League following an opening day loss to Longford. Offaly's only win came against Antrim two weeks ago when they put the Ulster men to the sword in a 13-point victory.
"We felt we could build on the Antrim game, but unfortunately "we didn't perform to a level anywhere close to that day," Flanagan told Midlands 103 in the aftermath of the Louth game at O'Connor Park on Sunday afternoon, February 26. "Our ball handling and decision making were both poor," he said.
"We had opportunities in the first half and should have been five or six points ahead, but instead they went down and got two goals that could have been prevented and that allowed them to build," Flanagan said. "It's a very disappointing occasion."
In response to a question about Offaly's defence, suggesting his side were opened up too easily through the middle, Flanagan responded by saying that, "their running game is very good, but we had numbers there to keep them out, so it really is very disappointing."
"We dug deep in the second half, and were unlucky to have a goal disallowed when the referee didn't play advantage," he continued. Flanagan bemoaned the fact that on top of this misfortune, Louth were able to reply with "soft scores" every time his side got to within a couple of points of their opponents.
After the defeat, Flanagan told his charges that "we have to be on the button every day because when we are on the button, we are a very good team." He went on to say that "if we're slightly off the button, we become a poor team."
He admitted that the mistakes made on the pitch were hard to look at on the line but maintained that Offaly are capable of beating any of the teams in the division. "We need to just worry about ourselves and apply ourselves, making sure we show a positive attitude."
Offaly's next game is a tough away trip to Armagh next weekend, where the Ulster side are the odds-on favourites (1/3) to beat Flanagan's team who are 10/3 outsiders.
"There's a lot that can happen in a week in football and a lot will happen between now and next week, and I hope it is in a positive manner," Flanagan concluded.
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