Brennan: Louth don’t fear Donegal

By Shaun Casey

LOUTH manager Ger Brennan insists his side won’t feat Donegal when the pair collide in the All-Ireland quarter-final on Sunday afternoon. Having faced off in the league, the two teams should know each other well at this stage.

The Wee County came up short in the league, with Donegal winning 1-17 to 0-15 in round five of their Division Two campaign. Donegal went on to achieve promotion along with the league title.

Louth saw off Cork by the minimum of margins last weekend to reach their first ever All-Ireland quarter-final and set up a date with Jim McGuinness’ men.

“I suppose there is that bit of a familiarity there, having played Donegal in the National League,” said Brennan.

“It was Donegal who came out of the hat and the Louth players would be used to them and the Donegal players would be used to Louth. There won’t be too much of a fear factor going into the match on the weekend.”

Brennan, who won two All-Ireland titles during his playing career with Dublin, believes that Louth will have to deliver more in terms of scoring if they are to upset the odds and reach the last four.

In the four games of the All-Ireland series to date, Louth have racked up an average of around 2-10, while Donegal, having played a game less having topped their group, have averaged a score of 2-20.

“I think we got 19 shots off against Cork at the weekend, so did Cork, we just came out plus one which was great,” added the St Vincent’s clubman. “You’ve got to be getting mid-20s to close to 30 shots, that’s what the Dublins and the Kerrys manage to do.

“Donegal were very good in their three games during the All-Ireland series and even going back to the Ulster final, it finished 20 apiece after extra-time.

“Cork scored the three goals against them in round two, but Donegal have been out averaging 18-19 points in the last four championship matches to date. We know that Donegal will probably be looking to hit something similar.

“If we can get them down to the low teens, it would be a big achievement for the group with the view of getting a few other scorers on the board and hopefully get out with the result.”

Brennan was part of the Dublin team that lost the now famous 2014 All-Ireland semi-final to Donegal and having played during McGuinness’ first stint in charge, he is well aware of what his side should expect.

“I played against Jimmy Guinness and beat teams that he’s been over,” he continued. “What I’ve always found playing against Donegal teams under Jimmy Guinness, they’re extremely honest and hard-working.

“We all know Donegal lads, they’re all big and strong, talented individuals and down-to-earth fellas. They’re going to be giving everything for Jim, they’re going to be giving everything for their county as well, so the Louth will be giving the same.”

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