Westmeath host Fermanagh in a crucial Allianz Football League Division Three encounter at TEG Cusack Park on Sunday, with a 3pm throw-in.
Colin Kelly’s in form team maintained their promotion push with an important victory against Sligo last weekend, but Fermanagh bring a flawless record to the Midlands. Under Rory Gallagher’s stewardship, Fermanagh have stitched a four-match winning sequence together. Kelly, though, was satisfied with Westmeath’s display in the Sligo triumph.
“It was a great win, 0-20 is a big score to put up, the stuff we are working on in training seems to be happening on the pitch,” Kelly remarked in an interview with Midlands 103 Sport. “If we can score that amount in matches it means teams have an awful lot to get to catch us. It means you have possession of the ball and that you are doing things right. You are putting the opposition under pressure. That is what we are trying to do, and it was good.”
Though Sligo are in relegation trouble, Kelly expected a demanding encounter.
“We knew that, we looked at the programme and in the last five or six times that Westmeath have played Sligo they hadn’t won,” he stated. “Westmeath haven’t beaten Sligo in years and history can’t affect things or whatever, but that is testament to Sligo, they are a difficult team to beat. In the recent past they have contested Connacht Championship finals, no more than Westmeath have contested Leinster Championship finals, so we knew that they’d bring a good bit of quality.
“With a new manager we knew there would be a bounce about them and that they would be competitive, but the way we responded is excellent. Again it is testament to the quality we have within the group.”
Next on the agenda is a clash with Fermanagh and Kelly is encouraged by how his team are developing.
“It is about accumulating points; we have six from eight; I see the National League now as being split,” Kelly commented. “One half is vying for promotion and the other half is in a dogfight. We didn’t want to be in dogfight and we have ensured that if we win our games we will get promoted.
“They are all tough, there is nothing easy about any of these games. If you took the top two teams in Division Four and the bottom six in Division Two, I’d say on any given day there could be a result. Every game you have there are a group of teams in that are really competitive with each other and we are trying to push on. It is not perfect all of the time, but that is what we are vying to do.”