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Louth have no time for past

THE rival managers have set the scene for Sunday's intriguing Leinster SFC final - with Meath keen to downplay their hot favouritism and Louth insisting they have nothing to fear from history.

Louth boss Peter Fitzpatrick has gone one step further with a bullish declaration that he's happier with his set of forwards in preference to an in-form Meath attack that has plundered ten goals in just four games.

Asked about the Royal forward line that blitzed Dublin for five goals in their semi-final, Fitzpatrick countered: "Well, if you think their forward power is good, wait until you see our forward power! I'd rather be involved with the Louth team than involved with the Meath team."

Speaking at their Leinster final press conference in Dundalk last night, the first-year boss was equally adamant that his players won't get wrapped up in the history of Sunday's Croke Park occasion.

It is Louth's first Leinster final appearance in half-a-century, but Fitzpatrick insisted: "Listen, we don't talk about history. People talk about 50 years ago - we don't care. All we care about is the game on Sunday."

While admitting there is an "unbelievable" buzz around the county, the manager added: "All these boys just want to play football and to me it's just another game. Don't get me wrong, it's a big occasion and everything else, but the most important thing is the game. It's a two-horse race and we're hoping that on the day Louth can win."

Meanwhile, his Meath counterpart Eamon O'Brien has rejected any notion that the Delaney Cup is theirs for the taking.

"It's our first Leinster championship final in nine years. So there's nothing to be complacent about and we're playing a very good team so we don't have any reason to be complacent," O'Brien insisted.

"Sometimes it can be difficult with media and the expectations that are created because of that. But the media gave us no chance of winning the Leinster title or of being All-Ireland contenders - and suddenly because of one performance everything changes.

"I don't think anything changed too much as a result of our victory over Dublin. We're still the same team as the one before things went our way.

"It can make you appear to look better than what you are. We're no better or worse than what we were 70 minutes before the end of that game," O'Brien added.

Louth have declared a clean bill of health for the final while fit-again skipper Nigel Crawford is pressing strongly for a Meath recall at midfield.