MICHAEL QUINN has called on his Longford teammates to establish a “culture” of winning as they set their sights on a landmark victory over Wexford next month.
It’s so long since Longford reached a Leinster senior football semi-final that even local diehards aren’t entirely sure of the answer, although 1988 is the likely year.
Now that elusive target is within tantalising reach. Crucially they will have home advantage on Saturday, June 7 - but to go any further they must reverse a recent losing trend against Wexford.
“We have to set a culture in Longford,” said Quinn, already setting his antennae on higher goals in the wake of Sunday’s first round win over Offaly. “You want to change. You see Cavan, with underage teams pushing through, and other counties - Roscommon making huge ground at underage and pushing it through to senior level.
“That win is not really worth anything if you can’t follow it up with another game. Consistency is a huge problem that we need to work on.
“Once you get the workrate, the consistency will come. We know we have three tough weeks ahead of us, but it’s a good position to be in and we’re looking forward to it.”
Glass half-full pessiments might view another victory as a poisoned chalice, given the probable prize of a semi-final date with Dublin. But Quinn refuses to look that far ahead and, besides, there’s the small matter of settling some old scores.
Two summers ago, Wexford squeezed through after a Leinster quarter-final replay. They also won last year’s Pearse Park qualifier, but only after extra-time and an ugly melee at the end of 70 minutes. Then, to complete a trilogy of Wexford-inflicted woe, Longford lost a de facto relegation play-off in Wexford Park last month, catapulting them into Division Four.
“There’s no love lost between the two of us but we know what they’re capable of,” Quinn admitted. “The few big games we’ve played against them in the championship, they’ve won. We lost the last championship game against Wexford here last year. So there’s a bit of pride at stake ... it’s going to be a huge game.”