Coggins continues to accentuate the positive as London look forward to taking on Cavan at headquarters

“We are looking forward to Croke Park. There won’t be a problem getting the lads up for it.”

London manager Paul Coggins is taking positives from their display in the Connacht final – despite the concession of five goals to Mayo. Photo: Cathal Noonan/Mayo

London manager Paul Coggins is taking positives from their display in the Connacht final – despite the concession of five goals to Mayo. Photo: Cathal Noonan/Mayo

Fri, Jul 26, 2013, 01:00


After the past few weeks nothing can faze London football manager Paul Coggins. Anyway, today’s commute over to Dublin is the easiest and most enjoyable they have had to face.

This was supposed to be a quick check-up. Nuts and bolts stuff about how London are bridging the gap from the heavy defeat to Mayo in last Sunday’s historic Connacht final to the biggest game of all their lives.

It’s the biggest because of where it is. Against Cavan in Croke Park.

We start with the concession of five goals. Granted, they were scored by a county that are threatening to take Sam Maguire west of the Shannon in September.

“Well, you have to take the positives out of it. Points-wise there was only a point in it.” That’s one way of looking at it.

“We did create lots of chances against Mayo. The difference was Mayo took their chances, ruthlessly.

“They have a big midfield and we didn’t get on top of them there at all and they cleaned up the breaking ball.

“But look at the match again. We had a good goal disallowed that would have made it 1-5 to 1-2 and instead they went out to 2-5 to two points. That was a fair difference.

“We had another few chances we could’ve taken with a bit of composure. But that’s the difference.

“They are a Division One team playing at the highest level for the last number of years. They know the right thing to do and they do it. There is no messing about. They just do it.

“That’s something we have to take experience from. When you are in the heat of battle you will remember those things.

“It was disappointing. No team is going to win a game if they concede five goals but we aim to tighten up on that.

“Mayo are one of the top four teams in the country so it was just a step too far for us.

“But we are looking forward to Croke Park. There won’t be a problem getting the lads up for it.”

The conversation moves on to Cavan’s link to the London panel.

Lorcan Mulvey would know a lot of their lads and playing against his own county will be very special. Then our trainer is a Cavan Gaels man – Kevin Downes.

“They put in a great performance against Monaghan and went up to Derry and won in extra-time. That showed us a lot of their strengths.”

Anyway, go on, what about the latest and in all likelihood the last journey London footballers will embark upon this summer?

“We are coming over Friday night on a few planes. But that’s okay, we’ve done that before. We’re not going to play any football in the air.

“When we land on the ground we’ll all go to Bewleys near the airport, which is our sponsor, and that’s very handy. We’ll have a nice sleep and then travel to Croke Park the next morning.

“Travel and logistics isn’t a major concern, we’re all used to travel at this stage. We’ve had four away league games and this is our fifth championship match so anyone who wasn’t fond of flying has got used to it over the last few weeks!”

He laughs away to himself. What else could you do?