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McMenamin is guiding Fermanagh through one step at a time amid sharp focus on promotion


Ryan McMenamin

Ryan McMenamin

�INPHO/James Crombie

Ryan McMenamin

When Fermanagh failed to gain promotion to Division One of the Allianz Football League last year, it was inconsistency in the closing stages of the competition that proved their undoing.

Defeats in their last two games to Armagh and Meath consigned the Ernemen, then under the baton of Rory Gallagher, to another season in Division Two.

New boss Ryan McMenamin, fortified by his team's first league win in the current campaign over Roscommon on Sunday, is hoping that they can repeat the feat when they meet Westmeath this weekend in Mullingar.

And while he is understandably not prepared to look beyond this particular tie, McMenamin will certainly hope his team can evade the trap into which they fell last year.

After this weekend's games have been played, there will be a break in league activity but Fermanagh will face a fascinating Ulster double-header of sorts when activity resumes. On February 22, they are due to host Cavan and then, on March 1, they will again have home advantage when they oppose Armagh.

But if the fixtures appear to be falling favourably for his side, McMenamin recognises that his players must take maximum benefit from the situation.

"While it was very encouraging to get that win over Roscommon at the weekend, the immediate challenge now will be to try and beat Westmeath," he says.

"They will be very keen to bounce back after losing to Cavan last weekend so we know to expect a tough battle.

" I know the Fermanagh lads were disappointed not to go up last year but we will take one step at a time for the moment."

While the Fermanagh boss certainly welcomes the fact that his team will be at home against Armagh and Cavan, he is not deriving any false comfort from this situation.

"It is always good to be at home although that advantage is only as good as the players' attitude," he adds.

"If they don't have the right attitude, it is not worth that much but at the minute we are getting a really good attitude from them."

With Conall Jones in hot scoring form - he has scored 0-14 in Fermanagh's two league games to date - Fermanagh have their sights on racking up even healthier scores as they fix their sights even more firmly on significant progress.

"It was disappointing to lose to Kildare in our opening game but we are back on track now and the aim will be to stay there," insists McMenamin.

Che Cullen, Ciaran Corrigan, Ultan Kelm and Ryan Jones are among the players who are helping Fermanagh to acquire greater assurance and cohesion.

Corrigan's late winning point against Roscommon on Sunday has been hailed as a breakthrough score in the team's bid to achieve promotion.

The Erne attack has shown that it can post scores if provided with quality possession and, not surprisingly, McMenamin would welcome more scores from play.

While the consistency of Jones has clearly underlined the team's league campaign to date, McMenamin would be keen to see a greater spread of scorers.

"I suppose at the end of the day we don't care who gets the scores but it's always nice to have a spread of scorers because this means that the scoring work-load is being shared," states McMenamin.

Belfast Telegraph