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Cavan manager Terry Hyland expecting fired-up Armagh

By Declan Bogue

Cavan manager Terry Hyland has sounded a note of caution about the motivating factors of home advantage, and the need for revenge that will fire Armagh this weekend when the two sides meet at the Athletic Grounds.

After springing a mild surprise last season in their comprehensive win over the Orchard County, Cavan enjoyed a season of notable improvement, but the Lacken man says that home advantage can be a blessing and a curse for Sunday's opponents.

"In fairness, they were probably a little bit sore about last year, coming up here and getting beaten. I can understand that," Hyland said at the recent Cavan press night.

"Playing in your home ground brings its own pressures because you have the home crowd who will probably be expecting them to put up a much better performance than they did last year and I'm sure they will from that point of view.

"But the venue for me, it's a stage, it's where you play, that's it. It's a green area with two posts at both ends of it and you have to perform on it.

"To me, venues don't make any difference. You have to learn to perform wherever that venue happens to be."

The fall-out in Armagh from the defeat last year was pretty spectacular, leading to much derision of the tactics on the day, and Hyland believes that the pride of players should ensure a fast start to the game.

"The revenge factor is a different thing. Okay, it might get the tempo of the game up and it might move a little bit faster as a result.

"But it will level out after a 10 or 15 minute period and then everyone else will have to go off and play football."

After making it to Croke Park twice last year and giving Kerry something to think about in the All-Ireland quarter-final once they cast off their defensive shackles, Hyland says that the level of expectation in the county is no greater than it usually is.

He began: "I think there was always expectation in Cavan because when it comes to the Championship you always see how well they're supported.

"We still like to think that we're on a slow burner. We have to build up gradually to get to a certain point.

"All I would say in this point in time is that we've steadied the ship and that's as far as we've gone."

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