‘Reduce errors and we can get a result in Killarney’ – McStay

Allianz NFL Division One: Kerry v Roscommon on Sunday at Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney at 2 pm (live on TG4)

 Niall Kilroy is an injury doubt for Roscommon as they prepare to face the aristocrats of gaelic football, Kerry, in Killarney this Sunday.

  Kilroy is a doubt after he sustained an ankle injury in Roscommon’s four-point defeat to Monaghan last Sunday.

  Kevin McStay said: “Everyone else is okay (fit). We were delighted with the efforts of Niall McInerney, Fintan Cregg, Conor Devaney and Niall Kilroy last Sunday, and John McManus made his competitive debut.

  “These are all new players on to the panel this year, which is very encouraging for us as a management team. We need all our players, including our more experienced lads, to put their shoulders to the wheel and when we have everyone playing well we will be hard to beat.”

  If Kilroy isn’t fit to play I’d expect Ultan Harney to come in at centre-forward.

  The Roscommon full-back line was excellent last Sunday but we need to see more from the half-back line. Midfield did okay last Sunday and once again it will be a hugely important sector this weekend.

  Up front Fintan Cregg was outstanding last weekend and Niall Killroy, Ciaran Murtagh and Conor Devaney played well in the first half, but we will need to see more from Cathal Cregg and Senan Kilbride on Sunday if we are to cause a shock.

  As for Kerry, they have a number of injuries, but they also have some superb footballers. Brendan Kealy is an outstanding goalkeeper. Shane Enright will probably be at full-back, with Killian Young at centre-back. Both are experienced and capable performers.

  Kerry will probably start with David Moran and Johnny Buckley at midfield, with Tommy Walsh at full-forward, and with Donnacha Walsh and Darren O’Sullivan also in attack, it is still a formidable Kerry outfit.

  McStay was pleased with Roscommon’s effort against Monaghan.

  “Our effort was top class but our execution was lacking in a few areas. I said it on Sunday, you just cannot make serous errors at this level and expect to get away with it and we paid the price. We have a great squad of intelligent young men who will only need to be told once and they will learn quickly, I’m certain of that. But it is all about learning from our mistakes and if we do that we can go to Kerry and be really competitive again this weekend.

  “Last Sunday was our first day out as a management team too and we made some mistakes as well, so we are all on a learning curve.”

  McStay said there won’t be wholesale changes in the team, likely to be picked tonight.

  “There won’t be wholesale changes. There has to be a bit of continuity and stability and we have to give lads a fair crack of the whip. There is no point in making changes for the sake of it and if we can replicate the effort we saw last Sunday we will certainly be very competitive.

  “We are at the very start of our journey with this team and we hope the supporters will come along and get behind them on Sunday in Killarney. It will be a difficult game but if we can get a performance to match the effort and cut down on the errors we think we can do something in Killarney”, he concluded.

  All indicators would point to a Kerry win here and anything other than that would be a huge shock. But if Kerry take Roscommon for granted, and we see the huge effort that was saw from Roscommon last Sunday in Kiltoom, then anything could happen. But one thing is for certain, if Roscommon are going to win this game they will need at least 12 of their players playing out of their skins on the day. Anything is possible, but Kerry probably look the better bet.

Match odds: Kerry 3/10; Roscommon 3/1; Draw 17/2.


Prediction: Kerry.