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Armagh in need of away day joy to stay on track

By John Campbell

Armagh manager Paul Grimley disputes the theory that playing at home can be of a considerable advantage to teams in the Allianz Football League.

As he puts the final touches to his plans for Sunday's crucial assignment against Galway in Tuam, Grimley believes that too much emphasis is placed on the "absolute necessity" of counties winning their home games with away matches often viewed in an entirely different light.

His side are not out of the Division Two promotion race and are currently tucked in behind Donegal, Monaghan and Down all of whom are on seven points.

But Grimley concedes that anything other than a win against Alan Mulholland's side could have serious repercussions for his team.

"The margin between being in the hunt for promotion and trying to stave off relegation is very fine indeed," points out Grimley.

"This being the case, it does not matter where you are playing your games, you just have to go out to win them. We are as comfortable at Tuam, Navan, Portlaoise or anywhere else as we are at the Athletic Grounds.

"If you make a big deal of where a game is you only put extra pressure on players and that's something I don't need at this point in time. Some of the best performances by various teams in the league so far have been delivered when they were away from home."

Grimley's own team lent substance to his theory by overcoming Meath in Navan when, according to the manager, "they weren't given a prayer."

He adds: "I believe that we can play as well at Tuam as we did there. The challenge for us is to get the two points."

He is hoping that promising midfielder Ethan Rafferty, who missed Wednesday night's Ulster U21 quarter-final replay win over Antrim, will be available again.

While Grimley is prepared to hold Aaron Kernan in reserve, he is keen to reintroduce a ration of experience into his line-up.

Galway have beaten Down and drawn with Louth in their last two games which means they are two points adrift of Armagh.

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