Lyng out of qualifier tie

Attacker one of five absentees for visit of Fermanagh

Brendan Furlong

Published 22/06/2016 | 00:00

Wexford captain Ciaran Lyng taking on Westmeath full-back Kevin Maguire in the second half
Wexford captain Ciaran Lyng taking on Westmeath full-back Kevin Maguire in the second half

Given the injury count, Wexford face a difficult task when they entertain Fermanagh in their opening All-Ireland Senior football round 1B qualifier game at Innovate Wexford Park on Saturday (5 p.m.).

The home side will be short five of their squad, three of whom started against Kildare in their provincial quarter-final defeat. Given this set of circumstances, it will make victory all the more difficult to attain for the Model county side.

Ruled out of contention is leading attacker Ciarán Lyng, who is suffering from a recurring hip problem, along with Michael Furlong (shoulder injury received in the Kildare defeat) and Jim Rossiter (hamstring).

Also out of the reckoning are squad members Michael O'Regan (abdominal muscle tear) and Tiarnan Rossiter (thumb/dislocated bone in hand).

To put a more positive gloss on team matters, both Brian Malone (shoulder) and Naomhan Rossiter (hand) will be available for selection. Malone was forced to retire in the Kildare defeat with that injury but has progressed sufficiently to force his way back into contention.

Rossiter missed the Kildare game but has now returned to full fitness.

Wexford lost that championship opener to Kildare by a point after a dreadful game of football. Even allowing for this, manager David Power is still seeking a victory against Fermanagh.

'The bottom line is, we created sufficient chances against Kildare to win. Had we taken our chances there would have been only one result.

'Our conversion rate will have to improve, of that there is no doubt,' he said.

'While our discipline has been good all year, this will have to continue especially against a Fermanagh side who will adopt a similar defensive style as Kildare.

'Fermanagh are a powerful unit so we will need to play attacking football, create chances, but more importantly convert them into scores. It's crucial we improve in this aspect of our game.'

Wexford haven't the most impressive history at this stage of the championship so it's important that they improve on the flat display against Kildare.

'We may not have the best of records in the qualifiers but still I'll be seeing a victory. In three of our games this year we have lost by the narrowest of margins,' Power said.

'This game is not about a performance, it's about winning. Nothing but a victory will suffice.'

In order for that to happen, Wexford will have to considerable influence of Eoin Donnelly, Seán Quigley and the Corrigan brothers, Tomás and Rúairí.

It's a big week for Wexford football as the county's Junior side defend their provincial title with a final against Louth in Drogheda this evening (Tuesday) at 7.30 p.m.

'We have a young squad which showed well against Longford. A positive display could lead to a similar outcome but Louth looked impressive against both Wicklow and Kildare.

'There's no denying that we will be up for the challenge which will be a difficult one,' Power said.

Team: Philip Murphy; Páraic O'Keeffe (capt.), Jason Barron, Johnny Connors; Robbie Vallejo, Shane Doyle, Paul Curtis; Glen Malone, Eoin Roche; Niall Harney, Niall Hughes, Jake Firman; Ian Carty, Seán Ryan, Conor Sinnott. Subs. - Conor Swaine, Jamie Carty, Tom Byrne, James Stafford, Seán Barden, Jack O'Connor, Shane Byrne, Graham Carty, Tony Smith.

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