Smith searching for the way forward

Dean Smith. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Dean Smith. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

Annagh United manager Dean Smith is turning to cold, hard analysis in the aftermath of the emotion of Tuesday’s Bob Radcliffe Cup semi-final exit.

Defeat to Loughgall cut short Annagh’s interest in the competition for a second successive season during the midweek repeat of the 2014 final.

United finished with 10 players but only a second-half strike by substitute Jake Keegan as the reward for what Smith considers another squandered opportunity.

A search back across results in this first season within the Irish League’s second-tier standard offers an interesting insight into the current struggle for confidence and consistency.

“If you look back, five or six times this season we have lost the second half,” said Smith. “It is something we want discuss and look at to try and improve that situation.

“It is not a fitness issue but maybe down more to concentration levels.

“I look at our squad and see so much quality but that is not always reflected out on the pitch and at times against Loughgall we picked the wrong option or played the wrong pass.

“I cannot fault the work-rate of the players but our squad has more ability than simply working hard.

“We will look at everything ahead of this weekend’s home league game with Ballyclare Comrades.

“One positive was Jake Keegan’s performance.

“He was direct and worked hard for his goal so will only improve over time.”

Kick-off tomorrow (Saturday) will be 3 o’clock at Tandragee Road.