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Armagh will face further difficult tests: Grugan

Red alert: Rory Grugan
Red alert: Rory Grugan
John Campbell

By John Campbell

Armagh skipper Rory Grugan has warned his side to be prepared to encounter defensive blockades in their bid to make headway in the Ulster Championship.

It was in the penultimate Allianz League Division Two game against Fermanagh that the Orchard County were forced to dig deep into their reserves of patience in a bid to cope with their opponents' safety-first mantra prior to losing to Cork in their most recent outing.

But even though teams such as Tyrone and Donegal appear to have embraced a more attack-minded strategy, Grugan believes that his players may still find that barriers will be erected to their quest for Championship progress.

"In recent years we have not managed to finish the league on a high and that can mean you're going into the Championship on a bit of a downer, but we have to accept that the kind of strategies we came up against in meeting Fermanagh and Cork might be very similar to what we will meet against Down in our quarter-final tie," admitted Grugan.

"We will be meeting them at Newry but we have had good practice in trying to contend with the game plan they might bring to the table.

"It's maybe not the kind of football we would want to be playing, but when you are confronted by certain systems you have to try and respond accordingly. We are keeping an open mind but we will be prepared for whatever might be thrown at us."

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