Heary: "We will rally round Jeff."
Owen Heary was pleased to get the win over Athlone Town to maintain the 100% record but felt that the conditions affected the team’s performance in the 1-0 win.
Heary said: “The performance wasn’t great but a lot of that probably had to do with the conditions as well. It was cold, breezy and wet, everything that conditions-wise you don’t want to be playing in as a player. But in fairness to the lads they kept a clean sheet, won the game 1-0 and we’ve gone through a whole pre-season unbeaten.”
The low point of the game saw captain Jeff Henderson limp off which Heary was devestated to see: “It was a matter of getting through the game without any injuries as I said before. Unfortunately tonight Jeff Henderson’s ankle is back at him so we are getting that checked out and assessed tonight. But quite pleased that we came away with the win anyway.
“I’m absolutely devastated for the fella himself. He had a few injuries last year, he had a bar put in his ankle then taken out. He trained all week, look grand, was in good shape, felt good and then a couple of minutes into the game broke down. He’s devastated and I can understand why but we will rally around him, back him to the hilt and get him back as soon as possible.
“I think the depth is there in the squad to cope with injuries. I don’t think everyone played well tonight but they are probably minding themselves a bit knowing that next week is a big game and they want to be part of it so I can understand that. They put in a shift, some got 45 minutes and some got 90 under their belt which is important for them.
“But the most important thing was that we got the win that makes it six wins in pre-season which gives us a good mental state to take into the first game of the season. There’ll be a big crowd here next week, a tough team, Cork have been tipped to win the league so it’s a good challenge for us.”
As with last week weather forced the game to be moved from the main pitch as the Showgrounds to the club’s astro surface. Heary was disappointed not to be able to play on the main pitch but glad to just get the game played: “Switching the game does have some effect, we were all looking forward to playing on the pitch and to get a feel for it. But it’s great having the astro to make sure that the game is not called off. I think the Derry and Finn Harps came had to be called off at half-time so for us to be able to change the game to the astro is great so that that we can still play the game.”
Attentions now shift to playing Cork City in the season opener at the Showgrounds in a week’s time: “We’ve been preparing for that for the past couple of weeks. We’ve been preparing the players, giving them bits of information and things like that so we will work on things now over the next couple of days.”
Listen to the post-game interview here: