Tough test expected in Tullamore this weekend

Fermanagh manager Kieran Donnelly is urging his players to ‘bring the focus’ to Tullamore on Sunday as they aim to make it two wins from their first two games in the Allianz League this weekend.

Offaly started their league campaign with a six-point win over Antrim, and Donnelly is very wary of the threat that The Faithful County will pose this weekend.

“With Liam [Kearns] in charge, a new man in, they’re naturally going to get a bounce from that,” said the Fermanagh manager, “we expect a youthful team, as that under-20 team have plenty coming off it.

“It will be tough, especially down there [in Tullamore] as it is never an easy venue.

“If we bring that focus that we did into this week, we’ll be in a good place. It’s a tough venue, and one we’re looking forward to.”

The Brookeborough man told the Fermanagh Herald on Tuesday (yesterday) afternoon that Che Cullen will not be fit to start Sunday’s game against Offaly. The Belnaleck defender had to be withdrawn from Saturday’s win over Longford after picking up what appeared to be a serious hamstring injury.

“He won’t be ready” said Donnelly, “Unfortunately not. It could be a few weeks. I’ve just been chatting him on the phone. It’s like any hamstring injury, especially one like that. You’re talking two weeks anyway.”

Asked if he would be back for the Down game he said;

“What happens with a hamstring is that you have to let it settle for two to three days and then Mark Hoy will test the strength of it tonight (Tuesday) and gives his assessment of whether it’s grade 1 which is 10 days, grade 2 is 2-3 weeks and grade 3 is 5-6 weeks.

“Looking at it, it was through deceleration and I’d say it was a grade 2 anyway.”

Fermanagh dominated their league opener against Longford from start to finish. Yet again, the Erne defence kept a clean sheet, with the Midlanders never threatening Seán McNally’s goal.

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