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Dublin: 11°C Monday 17 May 2021

Aidan O'Rourke and Paddy Keenan on being 'overran, out fought and pushed around'

Louth’s manager and captain assess yesterday’s Leinster championship defeat.

Paddy Keenan surrounded by Kildare attackers.
Paddy Keenan surrounded by Kildare attackers.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

LOUTH STRUGGLED TO cope with the psychological pressures of being favorites against Kildare yesterday, according to their manager.

Both Aidan O’Rourke and captain Paddy Keenan believe that Louth’s downfall was their failure to bring their usual intensity and work rate to Croke Park.

“Listen when you get overran and out fought on breaks, and pushed around a bit for loose ball, then obviously enough it’s a fair enough assumption to make (that Louth pyschologically lost the battle).”

“I’m always a little wary during the week that there was a feeling that this was a game we were going to win and maybe last year going in to the game against Wexford there was a similar feeling.

“I think we’re always in a better position when we’re up against it, and when people are writing us off, maybe it sounds a little crazy that we were going in a little over confident but maybe we were.”

Aidan O'Rourke Aidan O'Rourke looks on in frustration. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

After fifteen minutes on Sunday Louth trailed by 1-7 to 0-3, and despite a somewhat spirited second half Aidan O’Rourke’s men were at the tail end of a fifteen point thrashing.

“Our good performances over the years have always been down to hard work rate,” he said. “Today was more down to concentration and focus and not being prepared to work, and after fifteen minutes before we started to work, the game was largely gone from us.

“We didn’t bring the usual workrate and energy and the biggest question for us is why that was, and we’ve to get to the bottom of that. It’s a difficult situation to be in but there’s no bigger test to a sports person’s character than to have to respond.”

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Mick Fanning and John OÕBrien with Padraig Fogarty Padraig Fogarty caused mayhem for the Louth full back line. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Despite scoring two points form midfield himself, Paddy Keenan felt very few of his team can come out the weekend with any pride over their performances.

“We didn’t fear them, whatever was in our heads I don’t know but we didn’t show any aggression, we didn’t show any conviction in the tackle or have men running over the shoulder or leave any cover for the back line.

“All over the field there were very few of us, maybe Adrian Reid or one or two others that could maybe come out with their heads held high and we just didn’t do ourselves justice.”

The Kildare forward line, with a combined average age of 20, managed nine points between them, but Keenan isn’t laying the blame entirely on his side’s defenders.

“We were just totally flat on the day and just left the boys totally exposed inside and one on one, two on two, you know Croke park against decent footballers like that – you’re just asking to get 1-22 or whatever it was scored against you.”

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