By Shaun Casey
ARMAGH face a long journey to Roscommon this weekend and a tough task as they continue their push for promotion. The Rossies haven’t won a game this season, with their only points coming from draws against Mayo and Fermanagh.
But Armagh manager Karl McKeegan believes Roscommon, who are under new management, will ask serious questions of his side.
“I’ve done it myself (made the long trip) when I was with Antrim, so I know what it’s like,” said McKeegan.
“We’re going early and we’re stopping for breakfast, so we’ll get out and we’ll get the boys stretched but it factors into it, no doubt about it.
“I’ve done a wee bit of work on them, and I know Roscommon lost their manager, they have a new one in, and I actually know Seamus Qualter, a very good manager. He’ll have them well up for it and obviously they’re sitting on two points, so they’re looking for a win.
“We’ll do our work on it and we’ll work on things that we’ve done really well, especially against Mayo, we done some great things, so we’ll work on that and push on. It’ll be tough, but we’re in a good place. We trained brilliantly this week, so we’ve just got to push on now.”
Armagh sit second in the table, just behind Monaghan, and McKeegan has been pleased with their displays so far.
“We’re sitting second so I suppose you have to be happy enough. Obviously, we’ve had liked to have three wins out of three, but Mayo was a big game for us after losing to Monaghan and I think we responded very well.
“It was tight at the end, but two points was all that mattered and it puts us in a good position now going down to Roscommon on Sunday.”
A huge second half performance saw Armagh overcome Mayo the last day out and the Orchard County showed serious character following their surprising round two defeat to Monaghan.
“The first two games we’ve had two good first halves. The first game against Louth we were excellent in the first half and against Monaghan we were very good as well.
“So, to see them play so well in the second half against Mayo, you start to wonder is it tiredness or fitness, but the fitness is there, and they showed great character.
“We hurled really well at the start of the second half and when we had to dig in at the end they dug in well and it was good to see.
“When you score goals you’ve a great chance of winning games and we didn’t get any goals against Monaghan. We had a couple of chances and if we had of took them we’d have probably have gone on to win that.
“Goals win games and that’s what we’re preaching to the boys. If you do get a stiff of it, cut in and go for it. That’ll be the focus against Roscommon, to try and get a couple of goals and then you’re in a good place.”