Galligan 'hugely disappointed' not to get result against Donegal
Asked, not unreasonably perhaps, if he would have been happy with an away win and a one-point loss against one of the best sides in the division from Cavan’s first two matches, manager Ray Galligan struck a defiant note.
The Lacken Celtic clubman’s aim was to have four points on the board at this juncture and while there were positives to take, he still wore his disappointment quite clearly.
“No, to be honest, my intentions were to get out there and get four points in the first two games,” Galligan said after the game.
“I genuinely really believe that we have a hugely talented group and I’m extremely disappointed that we didn’t get a result here. I’m disappointed for the players because they really dug deep there and they deserved at least a draw.
“Look, it is only two points lost, we go again in two weeks’ time and we try to re-assess and improve from where we left off. I couldn’t ask for more from that group of men there today.”
Cavan opened with an encouraging away win over Kildare while Donegal filleted Cork; both the Lilywhites and the Rebels were beaten in round two but there was little between the two teams in Kingspan Breffni.
“As I said last week, Kildare are no bad team and although they lost last night, they will definitely pick up points along the way.
“Donegal put in a huge performance last week but we knew that we had a really great bunch of lads there and a really talented team and we just wanted to showcase that tonight. For long passages of play, we showed what we’re about and we showed that we’ve got fantastic talent throughout the field.
“And look, we’re just hugely disappointed not to get at least a draw out of that today.”
Asked what positives he would take from the performance, Galligan stated: I think we moved the ball well at times, I think we broke down their blanket defence a number of times. We probably created a few more extra attacks than they did.
“And definitely, the lads stuck at it, we got it back to one point 10 minutes into the second half, they kicked on, we missed a few opportunities, they opened up their lead, they won a few kick-outs but I was really impressed with the never-say-die attitude. If that game had gone on another few seconds, I think we would have got a draw.
“We came back from four points down twice there today and the lads really showed character to keep working and to keep believing that we’re doing enough things right and that was satisfying I suppose.”
Cavan had the chances, he felt, to get the job done.
“I think we had a number of opportunities, a number of balls that dropped short that on another day would have went over the bar. We had a lot of guys coming in getting their debut, a lot of guys coming in new to the set-up.
“We have to review the tape and see but the opportunities were there and we probably just didn’t take them.”
The battle for the goalkeeper position, which was Galligan’s own personal fiefdom for many seasons, is hotting up, with Gary O’Rourke turning in a good shift in place of the injured Liam Brady, who had himself performed well against Kildare.
“Absolutely, that (the quality of the goalkeepers) was never in doubt in my eyes. Liam put in a fantastic performance last week but he’s unfortunately after getting an injury so he’s out now for the next few weeks.
!Gary stepped up tonight there, a clean sheet on his debut, his kick-outs were on the money and he was confident under the high ball so I couldn’t ask for more from Gary there tonight.”
Galligan was happy with the impact his subs made also.
“We knew we were four points down, we needed scores, Caoimhin came in and I think he kicked two, probably could have got a third. He was excellent.
“I thought Ryan Brady came in and gave us energy driving out of defence. It was a game where we needed energy coming off the bench and I definitely think we got it from most.”
The performance of Oisin Gallen was probably the difference between the sides on the day.
“Talented guys like Oisin probably can be the difference between winning and losing a game. It was a fantastic score into the breeze and you have to compliment him. He was excellent at times inside in the first half.
“It was very disappointing to lose but I think we have enough now to work on and get ourselves back on the horse over the next couple of weeks and turn these narrow defeats into results.”
The manager hopes to welcome back cousins Oisin and Conor Brady to the fold for the trip to Cork on Saturday week.
“Both guys are back now hopefully next week. Oisin’s hamstring tightened up and we didn’t want to risk him today with the quick turnover. Conor is back in training next week as well so it’s great to get a full bill of health now going into the next batch of games.”