Furlong ruled out

Corner-back to miss date with Down

Brendan Furlong

Published 23/06/2015 | 00:00

Michael Furlong, seen here in action last year against Dublin’s Diarmuid Connolly, will miss Saturday’s qualifier at home to Down owing to injury
Michael Furlong, seen here in action last year against Dublin’s Diarmuid Connolly, will miss Saturday’s qualifier at home to Down owing to injury

Wexford manager David Power is hopeful that his charges will respond to the challenge of Down when the sides meet in the All-Ireland Senior football championship qualifier at Wexford Park on Saturday (6.30pm).

However, they must do so without the services of right full-back Michael Furlong.

The Adamstown defender sustained an injured knee during the warm-up for their opening round defeat to Westmeath that forced his early substitution in the game. Now he is set to be ruled out of the Down game with the injury slow to respond to treatment.

It is Wexford's only injury concern as they look ahead to what will be a stern challenge from the Ulster outfit, who are still smarting from their opening game defeat to Derry, having earlier set their sights on a lengthy provincial campaign.

This is a big test for Wexford, particularly as all eyes will be on the team to see if they can improve on their Westmeath outing, a game they were just ten minutes away from winning, before being engulfed by a late challenge from the home side.

The qualifier route now provides them with the chance to get their championship back on track.

The Down challenge is a daunting one, as unlike most Ulster sides they like to play an attacking brand of football, although this in itself should suit the home outfit.

Supporters can expect to see some positional switches in the side, while there may also be at least two changes in personnel as Power tries to come up with a winning combination.

His charges will take a very positive approach into the game as that is the type of manager he is, and he will hope that this positivity will have a huge impact on his side's performance.

'The majority of the team will stay the same, but there will be some positional switches and possibly a couple of changes in personnel.

'We lost to Westmeath in the closing stages but we just have to get on with it, building the team. This is a young outfit but we will continue to work, build a panel and compete.

'Against Down we are meeting one of the few Ulster sides that like to play open, attacking football. That will suit our young side so it will be a good game of football.

'The qualifiers can be funny as a lot depends on the players' mindset, but this is a big week for Wexford G.A.A. with the national Féile so we'll be determined to add to the occasion.

'Hopefully we can get a performance and a result as a win would be a huge boost to this young side's confidence,' he added.

Wexford will not announce their team until after training on Thursday evening. Adult tickets are €15 for all areas of the ground, on sale in Wexford Park all week.

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