Despite a successful league campaign and a good performance against Laois in the First Round of the Leinster Championship, Longford manager Glenn Ryan believes his side will be slight underdogs for their All-Ireland Qualifier game away to Cavan on Saturday evening.
Cavan come into this game on the back of a poor showing against Donegal in their Ulster quarter-final defeat. Ryan knows they’ll want to bounce back from that loss with a win over Longford at Kingspan Breffni Park.
“Everything is probably stacked in their favour,” he told the Leader. “No-one gave them a chance after their performance against Donegal, (but) we know that’s not the true Cavan side. They are far better than that. It is being played in Breffni Park and it will be a chance for them to right the wrongs from the Donegal game. We’re under no illusion that this is going to take a huge effort on our behalf to get over the line.”
Although Ryan and his backroom staff have been concentrating on Longford’s performance and focussing on things concerning them, they have been doing their homework on Cavan.
“We have been finding out as much as we can about Cavan. It’ll be interesting to see whether or not they stick with a similar type team from the one that played against Donegal or if they’ll change it. It’s more important that we get our own fellas right and focus on things. We won’t have any bearings on what Cavan do; it’s all about what we do ourselves.”
“The players are itching to go at this stage. It was a disappointing defeat against Laois. They’ve shown a good attitude in training and we’re hoping that’ll carry through to Saturday’s game.”
Longford go into this game minus the services of Paddy Dowd, who retired from inter-county football, but they have been boosted by the return of defender Enda Williams who has recovered from a shoulder injury.
Ryan said, “Paddy has pulled out of the squad. It is a loss but it’s an opportunity for someone else. Paddy has given great service to the county over the last number of years. He has struggled with injuries and it was probably getting too much for him.
“Enda is back for us and showing a great attitude since has been back. He has made a remarkable effort to get to the level that he is at. He is a hugely committed player.”