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Thursday 8 December 2016

Fermanagh star Declan McCusker: 'Dublin will never get a bad call against them because they always have Hawk-Eye to back them up'

Fermanagh forward takes some heart from tactics of Ulster rivals against Dubs . . . who have an unfair advantage because of Croke Park and . . . Hawk-Eye

28 July 2015; Fermanagh's Declan McCusker after a press conference. Enniskillen Hotel, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh. Picture credit: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE
28 July 2015; Fermanagh's Declan McCusker after a press conference. Enniskillen Hotel, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh. Picture credit: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE

FERMANAGH can take confidence from some of their chief Ulster rivals as they seek to topple the Dubs in Croke Park this Sunday.

So says Declan McCusker, who watched with interest last spring as the All-Ireland favourites struggled to breach the blanket defensive systems erected by Tyrone and Derry.

Dublin only salvaged a league draw against Tyrone courtesy of a late Dean Rock goal - and then required four points in the last eight minutes to edge out Derry by 0-8 to 0-4 in a Division One borefest.

Fermanagh were operating two divisions below but, under Pete McGrath, they have a well-established defensive structure of their own, one they hope can now frustrate the usually free-scoring Sky Blues.

READ MORE: Fermanagh star Declan McClusker: 'I don't think any team should get to play every game at home ... it doesn't matter who it is'

McCusker has never previously faced Dublin, so Sunday’s All-Ireland quarter-final promises to be a steep learning curve.

“It will be interesting to take the field with these boys, because they’re the boys that you’re watching every year in August and September,” he told The Herald.

“We have to try and look at the league games where Derry played them and Tyrone played them, and try to take confidence from those games - because both those teams rattled them in the league. Tyrone probably should have beaten them, and Derry were narrowly defeated.”

Meanwhile, McCusker maintained that Jim Gavin’s men have an unfair advantage playing every all of their championship matches at Croker, adding: “I just don’t think any team should get to play every game at home, it doesn’t matter who it is.

“It’s the only pitch in the country that has Hawk-Eye whereas none of the other county grounds have Hawk-Eye.

“That is obviously an advantage because you can get a bad call on another pitch but Dublin will never get a bad call against them because they always have Hawk-Eye to back them up.”

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