/ GAA

Fitzmaurice: Kerry must improve to win semi-final

Updated: Sunday, 03 Aug 2014 17:22 | Comments

Bryan Sheehan of Kerry, with his manager Eamon Fitzmaurice, after leaving the game early with an injury
Bryan Sheehan of Kerry, with his manager Eamon Fitzmaurice, after leaving the game early with an injury

By Paul Keane

Manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice believes that Kerry still have lots of improving to do despite moving comfortably through to the All-Ireland football semi-finals.

Fitmaurice praised chief scorer James O'Donoghue, who pinched 1-5, and gave a typically thrilling Croke Park display.

He was also happy with the impact of the Kingdom's bench which contributed five points in total.

But he pointed out that they are no further on than last year when they also reached the semi-finals, losing to Dublin. And he called on his Munster champions to improve further ahead of their next outing later this month.

"We probably are a little further on than last year as a team," said Fitzmaurice.

"But at the end of the day, we're in the same position and looking to push on. We're into an All-Ireland semi-final having won a Munster championship but we want to keep moving on.

"We probably didn't hit the heights today but I was delighted with the lads' attitude and the way they dug in when there were certain parts of the game where we were under pressure.

"Bottom line, I'm happy with where the group are definitely but we will have to improve a bit in the next couple of weeks."

"We probably didn't hit the heights today but I was delighted with the lads' attitude and the way they dug in when there were certain parts of the game where we were under pressure" - Eamonn Fitzmaurice

Midfielder Bryan Sheehan made way early on with what Fitzmaurice confirmed is a hip flexor problem.

"Hopefully it's nothing too serious," said the former Kerry defender.

As for O'Donoghue, Fitzmaurice praised his All Star attacker who has taken on the talisman role left vacant by Colm Cooper's long-term injury.

"In the first-half, Galway definitely got bodies around him," said Fitzmaurice. "But I think James did quite well. He got free a couple of times, got his scores. The goal he got was a fantastic goal. So we would have been very happy with him from that point of view."

It was a tough day for Galway who started slowly but gave themselves hope with goals from Tom Flynn and the excellent Michael Lundy.

"You can't give Kerry a head start like we gave them," said manager Alan Mulholland. "They have got at least two very potent attackers. You just can't give them a head start like we did. We did well to get back into it in fairness.

"There came a stage where we had to push on and we did that and it worked well for us. The disappointing part was what having got back to two points, we needed to just keep the foot on the accelerator then and weren't able to.

"Kerry kept their heads and were able to tack on a couple of points and that deflated our guys a little bit."

User contributions and/or comments do not, unless specifically stated, represent the views of RTÉ.ie or RTÉ.
Click here for Terms of use
Live!
Powered by NewsWhip