Saturday 22 October 2016

Banner are better than Derry - Fitz

Eamonn Fitzmaurice. Photo: Sportsfile
Eamonn Fitzmaurice. Photo: Sportsfile

Éamonn Fitzmaurice is in an awkward spot this week.

He must pay due heed to Clare's achievements in the context of their qualifier run and note their threat in relation to Sunday's All-Ireland quarter-final without sounding patronising or over-sweetening the compliment.

The Kerry manager has admitted he would, in an ideal world, have preferred a "different" test of his team than Clare - a side they have already beaten easily in this year's Championship but maintains that of the three possible opponents Kerry might have faced in Sunday's All-Ireland quarter-final, the Banner are the strongest.

"Having seen the games, undoubtedly of the three teams we could have played, Clare are the best, simple as that," the Kerry manager stressed.


For all that, he was in Breffni Park last Saturday night to watch Derry against Tipperary, rather than Salthill to take in Clare's win over Roscommon, such was his expectations of who his team would play.

"Derry would have given us a new challenge and a different challenge, but not a better challenge," he insisted.

"Clare are better than Derry."

He will, you'd imagine, be much more comfortable talking up Dublin or Donegal before Kerry's likely All-Ireland SFC semi-final.

"People aren't going to expect them to win outside of their own camp," he noted.

"They're going to be planning to win the game so from a motivation and a psychological point of view they're in a positive place and that's why we have to be at our best," concluded Kingdom boss Fitzmaurice.

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