Healy praises City despite seeing lead slip against Students
AFTER he saw his side playing out an entertaining 2-2 draw with UCD at Belfield on Saturday afternoon, Cork City U19 manager Colin Healy admitted it was the proverbial game of two halves.
The Leesiders looked set to claim maximum points in the Southern Elite Premier Division courtesy of Cian Bargary’s opening period brace, only for Students substitute Billy Griffin to equalise.
“We came up and we wanted to win. Every game, we want to go and win the game. The lads have been fantastic probably the last seven or eight games. They’ve worked really hard. The first half I thought we were brilliant. We were very good, we had a good shape to us,” Healy remarked after the game.
“Cian took the goals very well and we were dangerous and organised. The second half, the first 15 minutes, we were all over the place. We conceded two silly goals, two mistakes. From that end, we were just defending and probably, as you said, a game of two halves.”
While a draw was enough to secure a spot in the end of season play-offs, the concession of two goals in the space of three minutes kept City on a knife-edge.
The injury withdrawal of full-back Colin O’Mahony directly preceded UCD’s scoring blitz, but Healy (a goalscorer in the Liam Miller Tribute match at Pairc Ui Chaoimh last Tuesday) doesn’t believe was the reason for their subsequent defensive lapses.
“Colin felt his hamstring, so we made a change. We brought Darragh [Crowley] to left-back and we brought in Douwe [Van Sinderen]. They worked hard. I don’t think even it was that, I think it was just the goals. Defensively we lost our shape a small bit and the boys got in.
“Don’t get me wrong, they [UCD] are good players as well. We lost our shape a small bit, which is disappointing. We got a draw and that was probably a fair result.”
Because he is also the head of City’s Academy, Healy is aware of the club’s need to look at the bigger picture.
With the majority of the squad underage again next year, the former Celtic midfielder has been delighted with their development in recent months.
“We’ve got a lot of young lads here. The majority of these boys are U18.
“That’s the way I wanted to do it this year. Probably the last seven or eight games, they were fantastic.
“They were brilliant again today.
“Their work-rate is always fantastic. I can’t fault that. They’e great lads and they were fantastic today,” Healy added.