*Cathal O’Connor. Photograph: John Mangan
Sunday marks Clare’s first home outing in the 2020 Allianz National Football League, basis errors from their one point loss to Westmeath have to be rectified in the eyes of Cathal O’Connor.
“We didn’t deserve to win the game,” O’Connor said of their first round defeat to Westmeath. In particular their shot selection annoyed the Banner midfielder. “We can’t blame anyone but ourselves, it’s stupid errors on our part, we contributed a big part to them winning game, too many stupid errors, we can have no complaints”.
He added, “We must have kicked ten wides in the first half, you can’t win a game like that, there are simple things for us to work on over the next week and we’ll be much better next week”.
In 2011, Cathal made his senior inter-county debut and since he’s been a starting member of the side he partnered Gary Brennan in midfield. The Westmeath outing marked the first competitive outing post Brennan’s departure from the panel.
O’Connor insisted it is time for Clare to look forward instead of admiring great players from the past. “Things move on, you can’t be looking for Gary all the time, lads have to step up and make their own name now. The panel is plenty good enough, we can’t be looking back on who is gone and who is not here, it is up to lads to step up”.
A win was the target when they travelled to Mullingar for the Westmeath tie with huge emphasis placed on the result within the camp. Seeing as they didn’t get the desired outcome, the Coolmeen was quick to point out there is a lot of games left in Division 2. “It is a big disappointment, we still have six games to go, we’ve four home games to come so it’s a bit early to be writing us off, it’s only the first game and it’s still January. There is six more games and we’ll be alright”.