O'Grady: Lilies are building momentum week by week
Kildare full-back Mick O'Grady says confidence levels in the camp have been massively boosted by their run through the back door.
An horrendous Leinster semi-final defeat to Dublin by 5-18 to 0-14 meant Jason Ryan's side were near rock bottom as they faced into the qualifiers, but a slender win over Offaly and the impressive victory over Longford has given a renewed sense of positivity to the squad, according to Celbridge defender.
On the back of that 2-24 to 0-11 win over Jack Sheedy's side, O'Grady and his colleagues face Cork in Thurles on Saturday in the last 12. He says the Kildare camp has dug in for a long summer.
"It is a massive boost. Losing to Dublin like that, we knew we let ourselves down on the day. Obviously they were the better team but we knew ourselves.
"Everyone in this group here knows that we had a lot more to offer we just didn't do it on the day.
"It was important to get the win against Offaly, that was a tough game and again we knew that Longford were going to be good opposition again. We are focusing on one game at a time we are not looking past the next game," said O'Grady.
Before that 19-point drubbing from the Leinster champions, Kildare had been impressive in the manner of their replayed win over Laois in the provincial championship.
Since then, Niall Kelly and Tommy Moolick have made their returns to the starting 15 and have added another dimension to the Lilywhites, and O'Grady has been impressed by the duo, as well as debutant against Longford, Mark Sherry.
"Tommy offers massive aerial threat there and he has got a good engine to get up and down the pitch. Niall is a serious play-maker. He is a great footballer. The lads definitely made a big impact there.
"Then Mark Sherry has come on too and he was a revelation. It is one of the best displays I have seen in a long time from a Kildare player, he was fantastic.
"Games just seemed to be coming week after week, but we're happy that we are building now. Hopefully we can just keep on going, game to game focus on the next game all the time."