Westmeath boss Tom Cribbin reckons Division Two of the Allianz Football League will “go down to the wire”.
The Midlanders, who defeated Laois in their opening encounter, host Galway in Mullingar on Sunday.
“This Division is going to be really tight, it is going to go down to the wire at the very end,” Cribbin said. “It is important to win your home games if you want to stay in Division Two. I’d say for the last match of the season you could have six teams who could be promoted or relegated. That is how tight I think it is going to be.”
A flu bug impacted on Westmeath’s plans for the Laois encounter so Cribbin hopes to select from a stronger panel.
“It will be nice to have a few more choices because we had a lot of young and inexperienced lads there on the line. At the end of the day when the match is tight and on the line that is when you need them really.
“We had a lack of choices in some positions due to the bug and I’m hoping to have more players available for the Galway game.”
The Tribesmen, under new manager Kevin Walsh, overcame Meath at Pearse Stadium. Walsh hopes Galway can make a bid for promotion.
“It’s important for us to get a team playing everyday that is competitive,” Walsh said.
“Of course we want to get promoted, but at the end of the day we need to put a process in place where players know what they’re doing and work really hard for each other.
“The results will take care of themselves if we get the process right.”
With Corofin players unavailable Walsh is pleased that other youngsters are showing promise.
“One man’s gain is another man’s opportunity. A lot of the lads showed against Meath that they want to hold on to the jersey.
“If somebody is in there, it’s a case of another coming in and trying to knock them out.
“That’s what I want in Galway; lads having to work hard to get their place back on the team.”