Donnelly urges Ernemen to build momentum
Fermanagh skipper Eoin Donnelly is calling on his side to attain a level of consistency in the Ulster Championship that proved elusive in the Allianz League when they were demoted to Division Two.
Donnelly, conscious that the Ernemen have failed to deliver in the province's flagship competition since reaching the final in 2008, believes that victory over Monaghan on Sunday would not only help erase the hurt following the side's heartbreak in the league but could provide a pointer to a much more productive spell.
"A lack of consistency was our biggest problem in the league," conceded Donnelly. "We were not able to build on those encouraging performances that we did manage to serve up and this ultimately led to our downfall. Now we're going in against a Monaghan side that copper-fastened their place in Division One and which is playing with renewed confidence and spirit."
Fermanagh will be without key players such as Ryan Jones and Ruairi Corrigan but Donnelly, normally an inspirational force at midfield, believes that they still have the resources to trouble the Oriel County.
"Monaghan will have high expectations for the Championship but we have to look to our own strengths and strategy," pointed out Donnelly. "We are under no illusions about what we have to face up to. When you see the way Jack McCarron was scoring in the league and the manner in which other players like Gavin Doogan stepped up to the plate, you just know that Monaghan are going to be very difficult opponents."
Fermanagh manager Peter McGrath will unveil his line-up at a Club Éirne function in the Westville Hotel, Enniskillen tonight and his announcement will be awaited with considerable interest.
"Obviously Peter is disappointed that we will be missing a few people but I still think we have a solid enough base from which to launch our Championship challenge," insisted Donnelly.
"We have to be able to maintain our intensity level and keep our concentration throughout because Monaghan are going into the game from a strong position. They will feel happy with the way they have performed in the league and will have certain expectations in relation to the Championship.
"Obviously we know a lot about them and they certainly won't be easily beaten. Having said that, we are very conscious that a win would go some way towards erasing the disappointment felt after the league."