Emmet Bolton was on the show today to talk about Kildare’s performance and what has them winning against teams like Mayo of late.
The overwhelming theme of the show was that confidence had brought on this newfound momentum. Emmet is convinced that even the tactics they had been struggling with began to click. The accuracy just began to improve and Emmet think it all stems from work rate which is being brought back with a bit of belief.
“You’ve been paving over cracks because you’ve been playing week in, week out. You don’t get too much time to focus on them. It’s all about the positive and what you need to work on and what is working well for you.”
Massive praise was also in order for Cian O’Neill for his utilisation of data and proper use of subs. While there’s a degree of hate directed towards Cian O’Neill, pinning him as a data geek, Emmet went to his defence saying that the data he provides is pivotal to the way they’ve been playing.
“You have to look at the stats he does provide. If you’re talking about substitutions coming on he’ll look at metres covered, high intensity running, he’ll look at touches, he’ll look at shots to score ratio. He’ll expect the substitutions to make an impact.”
The in-depth analysis also helps with training. If the players are missing from a certain distance or angle they can try and improve from there as opposed to general practice shooting from anywhere. O’Neill isn’t an enigma, there’s no madness in his methods, he just works well off the data as opposed to letting players on based on reputation.
Stylistically, the seemingly interchangeable methods over the last few games has a few rooted points where the players roles are concrete. The defence knows when to pull back and offensively they have three blankets of two.
Watch the full interview with Emmet Bolton here:
So while this may be hard to pull off when a team is losing, it can all come together and form an effective game plan.
“It’s tough when you’re trying to do this when you’re losing games but when you’re winning it really does work and the guys gain confidence in it because they know this is working.”
So while data analysis and clear communication are two element that Kildare are excelling at, it seems to be the case that the confidence they have in these plans is keeping it all together. The team know where to improve, plan accordingly and once they have faith in the plan they can execute it to their full potential.
The main thing Emmet thinks is necessary for the upcoming match against Monaghan is a high conversion rate because a high number of chance won't be easily available.
By Hugh Farrell