Mickey Graham: ‘Cavan football has been far too quiet for too long’

Cavan football manager Mickey Graham told Sky Sports of his delight at making a splash in the championship after Saturday’s win over Monaghan.

The Breffni County secured an upset win over their neighbours, winning 1-13 to 0-12.

“Cavan football has been far too quiet for far too long,” he said after the game.

“A traditional county like Cavan, they like their football, they’re passionate about it, we felt that these lads hadn’t fulfilled their potential and we wanted to help them try and do that by going and performing on the highest levels on the big days.”

The former Mullinalaghta boss knows what it takes to inspire a side to fulfil their potential, and was thrilled with what the Cavan players showed on the field:

“Hard work, energy, commitment are all things you need to win championship games. You can have all the skill-set as a footballer but if you don’t have those ingredients in championship football, you’re wasting your time.

“I thought the lads showed everything there; guts, hard work, they never gave up, chased lost causes and got in on the dirty ball when it mattered.

“During the league, we were creating a lot of chances. We just weren’t taking them. It was about getting a bit more composure, taking the rights options.

“We’re delighted to get over this hurdle.”

There were contrasting emotions for opposite number Malachy O’Rourke. The Farney County must now win four qualifier games if they are to return to the Super 8s.

“We were just very lethargic. We didn’t score from play in the first half at all,” lamented the Monaghan boss.

“In general, we felt our attacking play lacked a bit of penetration.

“Cavan deserved their victory. We’re bitterly disappointed to lose.”

Having reached last year’s All-Ireland semi-final, it’s a long road back for the team.

“It’s a sickener today,” he continued. By the end of the week, we’ll review it and hopefully get back on the horse.

“I would have no doubt about the calibre of player and their character. They’ve shown that time and time again. It’s a real sickener today. There’s no point in dressing it up.

“We know we have to improve a lot, but we’ll get back to the drawing board and that’s what we’ll be aiming to do.”

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