O'Neill wary of O'Brien factor

May 23, 2018

Kildare manager Cian O'Neill.
©INPHO/Laszlo Geczo.

Kildare manager Cian O'Neill believes that his Carlow counterpart Turlough O'Brien will get the best out of his charges for this weekend's Leinster SFC quarterfinal at O'Connor Park.

The Lilywhites are strong favourites to advance to the semi-final, and this is being billed as a David v. Goliath clash, but O'Neill admitted to the Carlow Nationalist that with O'Brien's passion for the game on their side, the Barrowsiders will always have a chance.

"I've got to know Turlough from being at different meetings over the last few years. He's a great driver, a great leader," said O'Neill.

"He lives and breaths Carlow. You sense that from him. I'm delighted for him and it's great for the county to be pushing again. It was a long time to be in Division Four."

O'Neill added that promotion can be a huge boost for any team ahead of the championship and he stressed that Carlow will go into the game full of confidence.

"We know ourselves from the last two years how a promotion can lift you and lift the mood in the squad. Obviously we had a slightly different trajectory this year but we are still in a good place mentally.

"In terms of Carlow's gameplan, they play a very structured, highly defensive game. They permanently have 13 men behind the ball, sometimes 14 and then they like to break, but not always at speed which is interesting."

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