The Last Line with Chris Breen
It was crucial Fermanagh beat Meath in their last fixture because they have a massive month ahead of them. They needed to restore belief and find momentum following a heavy defeat to Derry in the opening national league fixture.
Not many people were giving us a hope of promotion following this defeat to Derry, but that does not mean we cannot achieve. If I was still playing I would fancy my chances of promotion. Why not?
Yes, there are some tough matches coming up, starting with a difficult trip to the Athletic Grounds against an Armagh team who will be desperate to get two points on the board themselves.
Fermanagh like Armagh will be under pressure to get two points in this game, in what is a must win game for both teams. To put it simply, win and we are in a great position entering March. Lose and we are going to be looking over our shoulder, and fighting in our remaining matches to consolidate our division two status. That’s how important I rate this Armagh game.
We will deal with the relegation dogfight if it presents itself. However, for the time being our focus has to be to consolidate our status in division two, whilst at the same time doing whatever it takes to get Fermanagh back to the main arena – division one.
Whatever two teams accumulate a minimum of ten points this season, will as good as secure promotion. With the fixture schedule working in our favour, there is no reason why we can’t be one of those teams.
On our day we are good enough to compete with any team outside of the top four in the country. We proved that last year. We need to believe we are good enough. If we ever need an example that we are good enough, look at the Roscommon team which defeated Kerry in Killarney a couple of weeks ago. The same Roscommon side we disposed of in Brewster Park last season.
Victorious now in ten competitive fixtures in Brewster Park, one of this year’s goals must be to continue this run and target winning all of our home games. With our next two fixtures following Armagh seeing both Cavan and Laois visiting Brewster Park, it further underlines the significance and the opportunity which a positive result in Armagh will present. Cavan in particular will fancy their chances against us having enjoyed much success in recent seasons at under 21 level on our turf.
If we get the result we need in Armagh, and win our next two home matches, then we will be in a pretty damn good place as we head to Galway on Easter Sunday and entertain Tyrone in this year’s penultimate league fixture in Brewster Park in April.
I firmly believe by the time Tyrone come calling to Brewster Park, they will more than likely have assured promotion. For me they are the stand out team at present in this division.
After them Derry on current form will be many pundits favourites to join them in guaranteeing promotion. But believe me Derry will drop points at some stage in this campaign. What we need to make sure that when they do, we have placed ourselves in a position that allows us to take advantage. That starts with a win in Armagh on Saturday week.
The next four weeks are going to be season defining. There is absolutely no question about that. They are all tough fixtures no doubt, but they are games to look forward to, not to fear.
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