IF there’s one thing that annoys Louth manager about his team at the moment, it’s their insatiable appetite for goals at the moment.
After the Limerick game, Fitzpatrick was bitterly disappointed, not only with the result, but the fact that his team were flat and when they did have the chance to register scores, they spurned them as they tried to find the back of the net, instead of raising the white flag.
Speaking to the press, Fitzpatrick said: “We are very disappointed. We were hoping after losing to Offaly last week that we would bounce back today.
“But it was back to the same thing again, we had three opportunities in the first half and we went for three goals and we got nothing from it.
“But in fairness to the team, we went four points behind at one stage and then we went two points up at one stage until they came back.
“It was one of those games. I knew it was going to be a scrappy game and I hoped we would get through it in the end.”
“It’s just a very disappointing result”, he added,
Over the next two weeks Fitzpatrick added that he knew his side have plenty of work to do on the training ground.
“We have a bit of work to do. The only good thing is, I believe Tipperary beat Offaly. We are still in second in the league. I thought after the defeat today, it was gone, but it’s still in our own hands. We have two games away from home.
“All we can hope is that we keep plugging away and if we win those two games, that we have a chance of getting promotion.”
After a flat performance, Fitzpatrick tried to sum up the problems, noting that his side made basic errors and that they looked stale in the second half.
“The biggest disappointment is that we made very basic errors. The possession, we gave away silly balls. Limerick chased and hassled us. I thought when we went a point up, especially being three or four down, but it didn’t happen on the day. We looked completely stale in the second half.”
He also added that the only way to turn things around is through hard work.
“These lads gave me fantastic effort in training for the past number of weeks. I thought Tuesday and Thursday nights were very good training sessions and thought today was the day to change it. It just didn’t change.
“It’s not going to happen overnight. We know that we have two battles coming up against Cavan and Waterford.
“All we can do is hope and train. It’s in our own hands. If we can re-group and get ourselves organised, which I think we will. I have great faith in this team, they are a great bunch of lads.
“No matter what I ask of them, they do it for me. At the end of the day, I’m the manager of the team and I’m taking full responsibility for the last two defeats. I’ll leave no stone unturned over the next two weeks to rectify it.”
Looking at the past two games, Fitzpatrick added that he was bitterly disappointed not to record four two wins and obtain four points.
One of the reasons Fitzpatrick points to when he looks at the reasons why Louth lost is their sudden desire this year to go for goals when putting points on the board seems a better option.
“It’s a disappointment. When you look at the game against Offaly, it’s a game we could have won and it’s a game we could have been bet by ten points.
“For some unknown reason, we have this thing where we go for goals, goals, goals. The second half, we had the opportunity to take two points and we went for goal.
“I told the boys before the game started, points win games. But I’m not making any excuses. Limerick came down and beat us on our own back garden. They played very good football and the best team won.”
Despite the losses, Fitzpatrick said that he would not criticise the players due to the committment that they give him. The manager thinks that they have the tools required to snatch a promotion place, something they will have to do on the road.
“One thing I won’t do is criticise my players because I think they give me a fantastic effort. We had a tough few months there and I thought we turned the corner. Today I was hoping we would get a result. It’s still in our own hands, if we keep plugging away and keep training, we will bounce back.
“They never say die, they chase, they hassle. You can’t ask for any more. Another good thing is Ronan Carroll came back with ten or 15 minutes left and Ray Finnegan is injured.
“I am hoping we can get a full pack for the next two games as it’s still in our own hands.
“I’ve got complete faith in the team, the management team I have around me and the county board are giving us 100% support so it’s onto the future.
“We did look stale, we did give silly balls away but those are things we can rectify in training.”