Clare and present danger!

Footballers must avoid complacency this Sunday

Allianz National Football League Division Two:
Roscommon v Clare on Sunday in Dr Hyde Park at 2 pm

With two good wins behind them, and a number of high profile players returning to the squad, Roscommon will be hot favourites to make it three wins on the trot when they take on Clare on Sunday in Dr. Hyde Park.

  The biggest danger facing Roscommon is the risk of complacency. Coming home from Navan last Sunday week, all the talk on the national airwaves about Division Two was that promotion was ‘between Derry, Galway and Roscommon’ – but the league table shows Clare on three points, and a win for the visitors on Sunday would see them leapfrog Roscommon in the standings.

  Clare manager Colm Collins, a very experienced ’bainisteoir’ now in his 9th year in charge of the Banner footballers, will be delighted to hear his side are being written off by the so-called experts. Make no mistake, they are very competent, and well capable of causing an upset if Roscommon are any way off-key.

  Cillian O’Dea, Cillian Brennan, Ciaran Russell, Cathal O’Connor, David Tubridy, Eoin Cleary and Keelan Sexton are top class operators capable of causing Roscommon plenty of problems. Sexton in particular has been outstanding up front.

  It has to be acknowledged that Roscommon are coming into this match with great momentum. Excellent wins against Cork and Meath were achieved with a huge work rate and some excellent attacking play.

  It will be interesting to see who Anthony Cunningham and his selectors bring back into the team. If fit, I presume that Niall Daly, Davy Murray and Diarmuid Murtagh will be in contention, although the players who featured in the opening games certainly deserve another chance. Still, having the Pearses and Faithleach’s players back is a huge bonus for the team and panel going forward.

  Brian Stack is doing really well at full-back and the defence has done well in general so far. However, to have Conor and Ronan Daly and Davy Murray back in contention for places will only strengthen that sector.

  Roscommon have had a problem at midfield for a few years but Eddie Nolan and Ultan Harney have played well there in the past two games. Having Niall Daly back in contention is a huge plus in that sector.

  Up front, it was good to see Conor Cox back to his best in Navan, while Enda and Donie Smith, Cian McKeon and Cathal Heneghan have been doing really well, and Niall Kilroy has been putting in his usual all-action displays around the field.

  Anything other than a Roscommon win would be a surprise, but if they show any complacency they could pay a heavy price. Two more points would put the team in a fantastic position. If the players can show the same intensity and appetite that we saw against Meath and Cork then that win is on the cards.

Prediction: Roscommon.