*Gordon Kelly under pressure. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill
Clare’s footballers have it “all to fight for”, Colm Collins insisted in the wake of their third defeat of the 2020 Allianz National Football League.
For Laois manager Michael Quirke, Sunday’s one point win over Clare has eased their relegation worries
“We have gone to five points on the table now and created a little bit of separation between ourselves and the teams at the bottom which is important. We have three games left and they are all going to be very very difficult”, the Kerry man said shortly after the final whistle at Cusack Park
Quirke said he knew “it was going to be a fight. We fought hard for the victory. That’s Clare’s third one point game in this campaign, having lost two and won one by that margin. I have played here a couple of times with Kerry and I know the type of battle they put forward. They get everything out of their fellas and they work as hard as they possibly can. We are just delighted to get out with a victory”..
Quirke, in his first year in charge of Laois was visibly frustrated with a number of refereeing decisions over the course of this tie. “I suppose there are very few games where we are not frustrated with decisions and it’s a very difficult job for the referee. There were probably a few calls that could have gone our way which didn’t. We hit the underside of the crossbar and got nothing from it. They got a penalty that I would like to see back again. There was never going to be anything more that a couple of points in this game”, he said.
“We will try and get as many points as we can and still stay in that division and get us as high as we can and that is the target for us”, Quirke concluded.
Meanwhile Clare manager Colm Collins felt “this is a game we left after us. We were very disappointed with the way we played in the first half. We spurned a lot of good chances, snatched at them, but to be fair to the lads, they put in a great shift in the second half and if we were a bit more economical in front of goal we would have won. Credit to Laois, they kept their cool and were deserving winners, I suppose”,
The Cratloe clubman lamented Clare’s poor start. “At this level of inter county football you have got to start when the ball is thrown in. We were pegging back a six point lead and you cant afford to be doing that. The victory was there but it just didn’t come”.
“We have got three games left and that’s six points. It’s all to fight for and we must get stuck in try and put something out of our visit to Cavan next week”, Collins concluded.