by John P Graham
Looking back at their championship meeting in 2019, Monaghan manager has no positive memories of the meeting with Cavan.
The Breffni men were 1-13 to 0-12 winners of the Ulster SFC quarter-final in May last year and it was a game where the opposition were largely in control.
“Cavan are a quality team and they gave an exhibition in the corresponding fixture last year against us in the championship,” said Seamus McEnaney. “They absolutely embarrassed Monaghan in that game Breffni Park, there is no doubt about that, it was an embarrassment for us but we have an opportunity against them now in Clones on Saturday, but that’s all it is, it's an opportunity and we have to make the most of it.”
Cavan were relegated to Allianz FL Division 3 at the weekend while Monaghan assured their position in Division 1.
“I think they (Cavan) were very unlucky to be relegated. There were a couple of results that were very, very close and went against them,” said the Monaghan manager.
“Look for Saturday the way things are, you would always expect a backlash from Cavan. Traditionally they are very passionate County and the rivalry that is there over all the years will be as keen as ever, and I don’t think relegation in the league will make any difference because this is a championship match, this year it's a one off, it’s a winner takes all.”
There is a short time for preparation, but obviously this game was in the minds of the Monaghan players for some time this year. “Look, this game has been playing on everybody’s mind because it was so disappointing losing against Cavan last year. Monaghan and Cavan games are always very close, there is only ever a couple of points in it even when Monaghan were at the height of their powers.”
There are a few changes on the Monaghan panel from last year, a few new faces and Cavan will have a few new players as well, but thankfully Monaghan had no injuries to report after last Sunday.
“We had no injuries against Meath and on the positive side, Niall Kearns is making his way back from injury and getting back to full training as is Colin Walshe but he, (Kearns) is not 100% yet obviously but we are hoping that as the week goes on he will progress and may be available to start or at least come in.
“The availability of Darren Hughes this year is certainly a plus and thankfully he’s back to his best and playing great football but we will need everyone at the top of their game on Saturday,” Seamus McEnaney concluded.Tweet