THE pumped-fists in O'Moore Park a couple of weeks ago were of the relieved kind.
Laois had endured a rocky outing against a Carlow team written off altogether.
Naturally, Justin McNulty wasn't particularly happy with the performance but qualifiers are first and foremost about winning and generating momentum.
Monaghan will, however, present a huge step up in class for Laois. They perhaps should have beaten Down and will feel they could be in an Ulster final right now.
It is, however, a dispiriting experience for any team to lose such a massive lead (nine points) as the Farney men surrendered and how they have reacted to that disappointment in the intervening two weeks will only become apparent tonight.
Laois haven't opted for much change but Billy Sheehan brings plenty of experience to their half-forward line but, in reality, it's up to the men ahead of that to find their scoring range early and put Monaghan away.
It's within their capabilities.
•ODDS: Laois 13/10, Draw 15/2, Monaghan 4/5