The disappointment of relegation to the third tier of national league football must be firmly removed from the minds of the Westmeath senior footballers as they prepare for a Sunday afternoon Leinster quarter final championship contest with Laois in O'Connor Park, Tullamore (throw in, 1.30pm ).
With no second chance for championship progression, Westmeath will be hoping that the spirit shown during recent league performances will be replicated this weekend with the final result in their favour and a place in the final four of the provincial competition achieved.
Speaking to the Athlone Advertiser this week, manager, Jack Cooney, expressed his aspirational thoughts prior to throw in on Sunday, noting an air of positivity within the playing squad despite recent league results.
"We have enjoyed the shorter preparation time for the championship and are looking forward to throw in on Sunday. The spirit is extremely positive within the camp and even though results did not fall our way during the league campaign there were numerous attributes to our play which we hope to implement this weekend," Cooney stated.
A competitive win yet to be achieved this season, Jack is confident that this statistic can be altered on Sunday.
"If league performances had been poor that would give cause for grave concern but there were phases in all games where we were in the ascendancy but just did not avail of the prime scoring chances presented, our missed opportunities against Down being a particular case in point," Cooney commented.
Looking towards Sunday's clash, the manager is aware of the challenge presented by Laois. The two counties' previous meeting in the Leinster senior championship was in 2019 when Laois emerged two point victors.
"Despite their relegation Laois will present an enormous challenge. It is knockout football now and both teams will want their seasons to continue.
"We are focused on the opposition and are taking our approach to Sunday's game on a session by session basis. Hopefully, our training ground work will be replicated in O'Connor Park, Tullamore and we progress to the semi-final stage of the provincial competition, our primary aim at this time," Cooney concluded.