Following Sunday’s 15-point defeat at the hands of Wexford manager John Evans is seeking a reaction from his players as the Tipperary footballers prepare for Sunday’s clash with Cavan (throw-in 12.45pm) at Semple Stadium.
Tipperary have now lost three consecutive league games (the Wexford defeat came on the back of reversals at the hands of Antrim & Roscommon). Only Offaly are keeping Tipp off the bottom of the Division Three table on scoring difference; besides facing the Faithful the Premier must also take on Sligo and Longford.
“We have to react to this and not sit on it,” John Evans said.
“There is no point in us sitting and licking our wounds. We’ve got to get up and address it.”
Evans was obviously very disappointed by his players’ display. In fact the Kerry man described the experience as the lowest of his career.
“That is not one of my lowest, that is my lowest and there is no doubt about it,” Evans said.
“We can’t go any lower. I’m still proud of this team and what they have done over the last three or four years. I said it at the start of the year that we have the most talented team this year, but it’s not happening. We have trained harder and harder, faster and faster, but it just is not happening on the field for us. All credit to Wexford. They remembered that we beat them last year by ten points, but they got us on their own field and they did it on the double to us.”
“This is as low as you can go and it’s the worst day in football that I have ever put down, there is no doubt about it,” Evans explained.
“We really, really trained extremely hard. They looked dead on their feet there and I suppose it is a mitigating factor. I would stand up for the bondship and for the way that these guys have approached these games when games are going bad, but I did not expect it to go this bad to be quite honest with you. Somewhere we have to get some solace and some form of hope.”
Evans also indicated his concern for the psychological health of his players and the effect a 15-point defeat could have on the panel.
“If we’re not careful that sort of a beating can take the heart out of a team,” Evans added.
“I know it. You just go into a numbed area. Sports people go into a numbed area where they don’t perform and that’s what we must guard against.”
Ever the optimist however John Evans’ thoughts were quick to turn to the challenge posed by the visit of Cavan to Semple Stadium next Sunday.
“Hopefully we will get a reaction next week. We have to, we have to because we’re in the game of playing football and these guys are a hundred thousand times better than they showed here today,” John Evans insisted.
“We have three home games and we have to start there and what better place to start next Sunday than Semple Stadium. It just can’t get any worse, hopefully we will get a bit of support and we can do ourselves a small bit of justice. Even if we gave ourselves a respectable performance at this stage it would do us.”