Down manager James McCartan is proud of Mourne players
James McCartan says the Down players can hold their heads high after the narrow All-Ireland Final defeat by Cork
Down manager James McCartan says his players should be proud of their efforts this season despite losing by a point to Cork in the All-Ireland final.
"I told the players to be proud of what they have achieved this year and to take in the bad feeling so that they don't want to experience it again.
"We are disappointed but the players can hold their heads high.
"We want to return to Croke Park on future occasions - we don't want to be one-year wonders," said McCartan.
The Down boss added that the third quarter of the game had been crucial, a period in which Cork recovered from a three-point half-time deficit to take the lead.
"We could and perhaps should have been further ahead at half-time and in the second half we felt we still had our best men out there - with Ambrose Rogers not available to us our options were a bit limited.
"Cork started to dominate midfield and were holding onto the ball in the third quarter so it became a bit of an uphill battle.
"Experience tells me that you have to grasp a chance to win an All-Ireland when it comes along as they don't come along too often but at the same time we'll be trying to get back to this position again.
"I couldn't speak more highly of the players - they dug in even when it looked like Cork might pull away in the last 10 or 12 minutes of the match.
"We dragged ourselves back into the game and in the end we could have had a draw even though we probably didn't deserve it, maybe on our first half display, but certainly not on the balance of play in the second half," added the Down boss.
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.