By Brian McDonnell at Cusack Park, Mullingar
THE task for the Tipperary footballing fraternity must now be to ensure that Saturday’s defeat to Down marks the beginning of something and not the end.
Prior to Peter Creedon succeeding John Evans as manager the Tipperary footballers had managed to win three games in 11 years (2001-11) of the All-Ireland qualifiers.
But under the Rosscarbery man the Premier won three back-to-back (Offaly, Wexford & Antrim) before losing out to the Mourne men. Surely, every effort must now be made to retain the services of Peter Creedon and his management team.
Thing is does Peter Creedon want to stay?
“I don’t know,” admitted the Cork man in the immediate aftermath of Saturday’s defeat in Cusack Park, Mullingar.
“I suppose the best place to manage is in inter-county football, but I have other things in my own life as well.
“I have the family, the job and things. We’ll see. It’s a serious commitment,” Peter Creedon explained.
“I have a good team with me and the players want to move in the right direction,” added Peter Creedon who has obviously enjoyed his short time in charge.
“The win against Wexford was a stand-out result and it was a good result last week against Antrim.
“We were disappointed today. I think we would have liked to be there in the last four or five minutes. We’re out of the championship and disappointed with the five-point defeat. But, listen, I’m proud of the team. They gave it everything on the field today again and that’s all we ask for really. We can’t complain.”
Tipperary played some determined football in the opening half and despite playing into an absolute gale trailed by just two points (0-4 to 0-6) before a Benny Coulter goal in the fourth minute of first half injury time helped Down into a significant interval lead.
“We had worked hard to pull it back to six-four,” Peter Creedon said.
“Two points down at half-time having played against the elements would have been a good position, but, look, we had 35 minutes to recover.
“We did get it back to three points, but Down kicked on again,” he said.
“We kept going, but I suppose the goal was an important factor in the match.
“Down played good football and they recovered well from having played last week. We did ourselves credit as well. I think we played quite well,” Creedon added.
“I think we showed that we are well capable of stepping up to the plate in serious inter-county football and if you could add four or five players to that panel next year we could push on again.
“I felt we were going toe-to-toe with Down for the whole match.
“They kicked on in the middle third of the second half which was positive for them, but we were still there.
“We kept going and we are moving in the right direction.
“We just have to get out of division four of the league as fast as we can,” insisted Peter Creedon.