Pete McGrath: Fermanagh boss says his Erneman can upset Monaghan at Clones
|Ulster SFC: Monaghan v Fermanagh|
|Venue: St Tiernach's Park, Clones Date: Saturday, 20 May Throw-in: 19:00 BST Coverage: Live on BBC TWO NI from 18:40 BST; commentary on Radio Ulster 1341 MW and BBC Sport website from 18:45|
Fermanagh boss Pete McGrath says his side can upset Monaghan in Saturday's Ulster SFC opener despite being without several experienced campaigners.
Injury has ruled out Ruairi Corrigan, Declan McCusker, Owen McManus and almost certainly Ryan Jones.
Richard O'Callaghan, James McMahon, Marty O'Brien and Damian Kelly are also missing but McGrath remains positive.
"If we play to our potential, we can still be very, very competitive against Monaghan," said the Erne county boss.
McGrath accepts that Monaghan will go into the Clones game as favourites having won two of the last four Ulster titles.
Malachy O'Rourke's Farney County side also produced a solid league campaign as they comfortably retained their Division One status while in contrast, Fermanagh dropped back to Division Three in a major setback for the county.
"Yes they are a very accomplished team and they are experienced in the right way, with them certainly not an old team," admits McGrath.
"Their system of play has been road-tested and found to be successful so it's a huge task for us.
"But the championship is about performance collectively as a team and individually as players.
"We have worked very hard over this last number of weeks. We too have a lot of very high-quality footballers."
Holding midfielder O'Callaghan looks a big loss for McGrath's side after opting out to spend time in Australia.
Defenders O'Brien and Kelly opted to quit inter-county duty over the winter while the injury list included Ruairi Corrigan who missed the entire league campaign following shoulder surgery.
There were hopes that Ryan Jones might be available for Saturday's game but McGrath has accepted that the Derrygonnelly is unlikely to feature because of his back injury.