Just like the Limerick game in Round 1 of the All-Ireland Qualifiers, Longford are looking for sweet revenge when Wexford come to Glennon Brothers Pearse Park on Saturday next for the Round 2 clash.
Wexford defeated Longford last year in the Leinster Championship and Longford boss Glenn Ryan admitted his side will be going all out to avenge that result: “From our point of view our motivation against Limerick was that last year they halted our run and our bad fortune began at that stage. It’s a similar story with Wexford who halted us in terms of our Leinster ambitions. This is a big opportunity for us to make up for that loss and we are really fired up” he told the Leader.
It was a victory that Longford let slip from their grasp and the hurt the players felt was clearly etched on their faces after the game in Tullamore. After coming so close to beating Wexford Ryan believes his side know exactly what they have to do on Saturday: “Both Longford and Wexford gave everything that they could in both games and unfortunately we came out the wrong side of the replay result. The lads showed that they are capable of pushing the likes of Wexford but we are fully aware that we are going to require something even better on Saturday.”
This will be the sixth meeting between the sides in the space of just 15 months. Games between the sides have been very close and hard to call. “They know as much about us as we know about them,” said Ryan. “In the games we have played against Wexford there has been very little between the sides and both teams are very evenly matched. Wexford showed how resilient they are after getting relegated in the league when they went up and got a fantastic victory in Drogheda against a good Louth side.”
Compared to previous years Wexford have the advantage of having an extra week off to prepare for the Qualifiers. Ryan doesn’t know whether or not it will be an advantage for either side: “It’s a plus for them but it also gives us the extra week too; whether or not that will make a difference remains to be seen. We have a couple of injuries and only time will tell if the players concerned make it. It’s certainly not going to do Wexford any harm getting the extra week.”
Although happy to have a home draw once again, Ryan is hoping Longford don’t become too complacent. He admitted that was their mistake against Limerick last year and they were made pay dearly. “We fell into the trap last year against Limerick of thinking a home draw was going to do everything for us. A home draw doesn’t guarantee a win. It’s only a help and advantage when you approach the game in the right manner and huge levels of commitment are required. When those are maximised and bettered it just might be an advantage. One thing is for sure it’s going to be a very tough contest.”