Roscommon manager Anthony Cunningham hailed his charges’ work rate following their convincing win over Leitrim at Dr. Hyde Park last Sunday.
“We have been working really hard in training and the lads have given us a great response. We are delighted with the attitude of the players. We have 36 on the panel, 26 togged out today and only 15 can start. We are a work in progress and today is a stepping stone ahead of the next day.
“There was added pressure on us today playing at home because there is an expectation to win but we had great respect for Leitrim. They had a great league campaign and they were very good in the Division Four final and we prepared very hard for today. But the experience that our players have gained over the winter and over the past few years stood to them today. This is a big step up and the next day (against Mayo) will be an even bigger step up but it is one we are really looking forward to,” he said.
Roscommon’s three goals went a long way to ensuring a comfortable afternoon but Cunningham believes there’s still room for improvement ahead of the semi-final clash with Mayo in Castlebar.
“The goals were vital. Our lads were powerful running forward and in fact we missed a few more goals. Our shooting wasn’t great in the first half to be honest. Our build-up play was good but our finishing has to improve. When we face the Mayo defence they will be so hard to get through and when you do get through you have to take your scores. We have massive respect for Mayo but we don’t fear them. We are going down there to win. It’s the championship and we want to win the next day,” he said.
The Roscommon manager also provided an update on Enda Smith, who was a surprising absentee from Sunday’s quarter-final.
“Enda Smith has a broken bone in his hand and he didn’t line out today but we are very hopeful that he will be Ok for the Mayo match. It was too big of a risk to play him today. We looked at a lot of players (off the bench) today and we need to give all the panellists we have and a chance. Hubert Darcy played for the first time today and we were very happy with him. There is huge pressure for places on the team and that’s the way we want it,” he concluded.