The relief after the Westmeath game two weeks ago was the most dominant emotion in the Louth dressing room; the performance was weak and every player on the Louth panel knew it was, none more so than Young Irelands forward Derek Maguire.
“I was very disappointed with my own performance. I suppose everyone put their head down this week and everyone has been playing well in training since.”
“But to be honest, the better team was beaten on the day. We were very very lucky. We just need to pick ourselves up and build on it.
On the plus side, Maguire is delighted that The Wee County have gotten past Westmeath and any pre-championship nerves will have been cast off.
“Once we got that first championship game over us it probably settled the nerves and I think we’re ready for Sunday.”
“We know we’ve a lot more in the tank than what we showed against Westmeath. We know we’re going to have to show it against Dublin.”
For Maguire the self belief that has been instilled in the Louth panel has been crucial to their performances in the league and also against Westmeath.
The Young Irelands man knows it can be a major asset against the Dubs.
“The management team have been trying to build a lot of belief into the panel. No team is unbeatable, it’s 15 against 15.
“We have to believe that we’re just as good as the other team and that’s one thing we really have taken on board this year.
“It’s the same this Sunday, we’re going to have to believe that we can beat Dublin, if we don’t believe that then what’s the point of playing.”
As for Louth poor record against Dublin, Maguire doesn’t seem to bothered by it.
“We need to concentrate on the game that’s ahead of us and forget about the past.
“But we do believe we can beat Dublin.”
Tackling the All Ireland Champions is going to be a big ask, but the Louth forward knows a tactical thing or two.
“We were very sluggish against Westmeath, we need to start well against Dublin, because if they get a lead up on us then that’s when they really come out of their shell.
“We need to stop them building from the start.”
With Hill 16 baying for blood next Sunday, Maguire hopes that Louth can keep them quiet for as long as possible and that might swing the tie in their favour
“They are expected to kick us off the park, so the longer we keep them at bay, it’ll give us a better chance near the
Another positive for Peter Fitzpatrick’s side is that Dublin will be coming into the game cold.
“It’s always great to get a first round championship game under your belt.
“It’s what they always say, catch Dublin in the first round and hopefully it’s one of those cases were we can catch them on the hop.”
We just looking forward to it and we’re not getting too uptight about the whole occasion.”