Despite losing to Dublin in the Leinster MFL last Saturday, Westmeath minor manager Tom Carr was quite satisfied with his charges' performance.
"A few bad errors crept in during the final quarter, but I'm very happy with the performance," said Carr afterwards.
The weak Lake County showing in the last quarter allowed Dublin to triumph by a flattering seven points - and Carr agreed that the only goal of the match in the 16th minute should have been prevented.
"Yes, those goals are no-nos. They are balls that should be cleared 50/60 yards down the pitch with man and ball, and with the forward who is going to try and punch it. We've conceded a few of those goals now and they are a killer," he said.
"We've got to come up with a strategy that we are not conceding soft goals. It was the difference in the game. Not alone does it put three points on the board, but it also takes the heart out of what you've been doing."
The former Dublin captain also concurred that Luke Loughlin's unlucky 45th-minute effort was another key moment, stating: "Yes when the Dublin 'keeper made the catch and they scored from the counterattack, it was a two-point difference. I don't want to be unfair to anybody but some of our clearances went straight out to Dublin players. That's a little area we're going to have to do a little bit of work on. Also, we had a few tame efforts for scores when a bit more slickness is required."
Carr confirmed that he is now operating with "85/90 per cent" of his final panel.
"I'm waiting on a few other lads to finish with rugby. Also, there are a couple of lads and I'm not sure if they're committed to us. It would be great if they were. There are one or two out there who might come in and strengthen the panel," he said.
When asked did he feel he was getting a better commitment than last year from his squad, he was pleased to say: "Yes, I'm certainly getting a more concerted effort from the panel, in fairness to them. We've had gym sessions in groups. Overall, we've had more like the percentage of attendance that's required. It was 50/60 per cent last year which is not good enough. The lads have shown much better application this year."
*See this week's Westmeath Independent for a report on last weekend's Leinster MFL game.