After losing 0-13 to 0-10 against Roscommon with a new-look team at Pearse Park, the pressure is already on Longford in their quest to consolidate their Division 3 status in the National Football League and manager Jack Sheedy is expected to make changes for the difficult Round 2 fixture away to Limerick at the Gaelic Grounds on Sunday next, throw-in 2pm.
Michael Quinn will almost certainly be recalled to the team, after missing the Roscommon match due to suspension, while both Sean McCormack and Shane Mulligan were brought on during the course of the second half on Sunday last and could start in the crucial clash against Limerick.
But Brian Kavanagh has unfortunately been hit by a hamstring injury that ruled him out against Roscommon and he was not even listed among the substitutes. Thus Kavanagh must be considered extremely doubtful and the management team are unlikely to risk him, particularly with a three week break to the next league game at home to Fermanagh on Sunday March 2nd.
New Limerick manager John Brudair, who coached his native club Dromcollogher-Broadford to a historic Munster Senior Football Championship title in 2008, watched his county pressed the self destruct button in the narrow 0-15 to 0-13 league defeat against Sligo at Markievicz Park on Sunday last.
Without several players who lost to Longford in Round 1 of the All-Ireland Qualifiers last year, including vastly experienced midfielder John Galvin, Limerick blew a great chance of getting their Division 3 campaign off to a winning start and will be very determined to make immediate amends with home advantage on Sunday next.
Missing other key figures in Stephen Lucey and Stephen Kelly against Sligo, Limerick will still take some positives from the Round 1 setback and are particularly strong in the full-forward-line where the lethal Ian Ryan is the main threat.
With other useful attackers in Seamus O’Carroll, Ger Collins and Eoin Hanrahan, who scored nine points between them in the game against Sligo, Limerick will be hard beaten at the Gaelic Grounds in what really is a must win game for them in order to ease the relegation worries at this early stage of the season.
Longford are in a similar situation as another defeat on Sunday would leave the midlanders in serious trouble with three more away games to come against Offaly, Sligo and Wexford in the so competitive Division 3 with little separating the sides, not forgetting another tough task against neighbouring rivals Cavan at Pearse Park on Sunday March 16th.