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Dublin: 4°C Thursday 26 November 2020

'It’s like watching a decent car with a little engine': McStay looks to long-term plan

Dublin’s conditioning blew Roscommon away on Saturday night in Croke Park.

KEVIN MCSTAY HAS called on the Roscommon public to show his young team some patience in the wake of their relegation to Division 2.

Jim Gavin and Kevin McStay at the end of the game Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

The Rossies were on the wrong end of a 2-29 to 0-14 hammering by the All-Ireland champions, but McStay was keen to stress that this is only the beginning of a long-term plan.

“I know the patience is wearing thin at home. It’s a young team. They’re three, four, five years behind these big teams in terms of conditioning.

“People just have to be patient. They’re 22, 23 years of age. We’ll get a good season in Division 2. Please God, we’ll get out of that and get back to Division 1.

“And people just have to hold their nerve and stay with it.”

Several more experienced names haven’t been part of the set-up this year, with Cathal Cregg, Neil Collins, Senan Kilbride, Cathal Shine and Donie Shine no longer involved.

McStay feels the best option is to move focus on the future.

“If they want to chop and change and get rid of half them young fellas and bring back what?

“It doesn’t work like that. I’ll make the point again, we had all those guys last year that everyone is harping on about.

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“And we got hammered by Galway and Clare and Mayo and Kerry. And all that experience and know-how and physicality that everybody is dreaming is somehow out there, that was all supposed to be there last year too. And it wasn’t.”

Kevin McManamon with Tadgh O'Rourke Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

“So we’ve moved on to a longer term plan. Three years. I’ve spoken to the board about it. That’s what I want to do. And it would be nice if people hold their nerve and stay with it.

“It is difficult. These experiences, they’re not simple ones, obviously.”

Physically, Dublin were on a different level to McStay’s men on Saturday night. Improving their conditioning is the big area where he is eyeing improvement.

“But we will learn from them. In three years time, if this group stays together, they will be a decent team. And nobody can tell me otherwise.

“I’m watching them train three or four days a week. They’re very good but they’re under power. It’s like watching a very decent car with very little engine in it.

“And that’s essentially our problem at the moment; our conditioning is way behind the top teams.”

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Kevin O'Brien

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