GAA Football

Kildare will have to problems raising their game again: Fermanagh boss Rory Gallagher

Rory Gallagher is glad Fermanagh have had a 13-day break ahead of facing Kildare in the All-Ireland Qualifiers

By Colm Bradley

FERMANGH boss Rory Gallagher says All-Ireland Qualifier opponents Kildare will have no problem in raising their game just as they did in overcoming Mayo last weekend.

Having seen his team play three tough provincial ties getting out of the Ulster bear pit might just do his side good, although he was also quick to point out that the Lilywhites looked very good in their victory over Mayo.

“Having watched them on Saturday evening we were impressed with them and how they played against Mayo. In a strange way it is no harm to be playing a team outside of Ulster because it can get a wee bit monotonous sometimes,” Gallagher stated.

There has been a train of thought put forward that Kildare might find it difficult to raise their game to the same level against Fermanagh as they did against Mayo.

The whole ‘NewbridgeOrNowhere' movement galvanised Kildare to new heights. The Fermanagh manager isn't buying it however and is adamant that Cian O'Neill will have his side ready for battle come Saturday evening in Navan.

“There was obviously a very passionate atmosphere there for the Mayo game with all that had gone on in the lead up to the game.

“Mayo always bring that passion and the Kildare people were really behind their team but despite all that Kildare were a team who were operating in Division One this year and they will have had their targets all year and one of those would have been to be in the super 8s so I can't see them having any difficulty in getting up for this game with ourselves.”

The former Donegal boss also sees Kildare as a side with serious momentum and he believes it is incumbent on his side to make sure they get the mental side of their preparation spot on after their Ulster final defeat to Donegal.

“The funny thing about the provincial Championship is that when you lose a final you have that huge setback and you are coming up against a team that has momentum coming through the Qualifiers.

“But that is the reality of it. Kildare have the momentum of three wins and we are coming from a different place but we have to put all that to one side and make sure that our performance is a lot better than it was in the Ulster final,” Gallagher explained.

One thing that will help the Erne squad is the 13-day break between the provincial final and Saturday's encounter.

Gallagher has experienced the six-day turn around as a manger with Donegal while Fermanagh in 2008 exited the Championship at this stage six days after losing to Armagh in an Ulster final replay. Kildare were Fermanagh's victors on that occasion and the Fermanagh manager was candid enough to admit that the players would not have fancied the shorter break.

“I overheard the players talking among themselves last Thursday night and they were glad it wasn't a six-day turnaround.

“There is a huge emotional investment in the preparation for an Ulster final and we all know that the county was fanatical about it so it takes a wee bit of time to get over it, so we are delighted to have the 13 days, it makes a big difference and we have to make the most of it now.”

Looking at the Donegal game Gallagher said: “The final was a big occasion and we probably didn't handle it as well as we would have liked and we can't ignore that either.”

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