Armagh accounted for Derry in their first Ulster SFC clash of the season at Celtic Park on Sunday, but manager Paddy O’Rourke is adamant they will have to raise their game against Monaghan in the quarter-finals.
“We did enough to win the game, but that won’t be enough in three weeks’ time,” said O’Rourke. “Monaghan will be a good step-up on where we were today.
“We will have to improve in all areas of the field, although we had some good performances. Our belief in ourselves will have to improve as well.”
The winners deployed a sweeper system on Sunday and O’Rourke was quick to defend his tactics.
Tipperary gave Kerry a run for their money for a good 50 minutes before the All-Ireland champions pulled away in the Munster SFC clash in Thurles on Sunday.
The Kingdom won by 12 points in the end, but led by only a point at the break as Tipp pushed them hard.
“It was pretty competitive for long periods,” said Kerry boss Jack O’Connor afterwards. “Tipp were well in the game at halftime. I thought we got a bit careless and a small bit lethargic in spells.”
Wicklow made a smooth enough journey to the Leinster SFC quarter-finals in Sunday’s win over Carlow - and manager Mick O’Dywer wants the Westmeath game moved to Portlaoise.
The sides are currently down to play in Tullamore which O’Dwyer claims is as good as a home game for Westmeath.
“We’ll be hoping the game is in Portlaoise, which is a neutral venue. They took us away up to Tullamore last year,” said O’Dwyer.
“Asking people from Bray and Greystones and Arklow to travel over 100 miles isn’t on. Westmeath could nearly walk down the road to Tullamore and that’s wrong. We’re just looking for a fair, neutral venue.”
Carlow boss Luke Dempsey was critical of O’Dwyer’s tactics after his team’s defeat.
“Wicklow’s incessant fouling, maybe that’s where we have to improve during the summer and be more professional in terms of knowing what referees are going to be doing,” said Dempsey.
Defender PJ Quinn is Tyrone’s biggest injury doubt ahead of Sunday’s Ulster SFC quarter-final date with Antrim in Casement Park.
Tommy McGuigan and Kyle Coney are both close to full fitness after recovering from hamstring and back injuries respectively but centre-back Conor Gormley won’t be fit in time for Sunday’s game.
Cork’s John Miskella made his comeback at club level at the weekend, but Nicholas Murphy is doubtful for the Munster semi-final against Kerry after he suffered a stress fracture to his back that could keep him out for eight weeks.
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