| 5.7°C Dublin

O'Connor ruled out for Lilies' Croker clash

KIERAN McGEENEY will be without Tomás O'Connor for Saturday's All-Ireland SFC qualifier with Monaghan in Croke Park (3.0).

O'Connor started the rout of Derry last Saturday but picked up a knee injury and was forced off after just nine minutes. He has undergone a scan and Kildare are currently awaiting the results on the damage, facing the possibility of losing him for the rest of the season.

Besides O'Connor, McGeeney has a full playing deck to choose from with Alan Smith likely to deputise in attack.

Meanwhile, former Kildare and current Monaghan coach, Paul Grimley, says the biggest job of work facing himself and the rest of the Farney county backroom team is raising their player's spirits following a dispiriting Ulster final loss to Tyrone.

"It's going to be seriously difficult to pick them up for it," said Armagh native Grimley, who spent two years with McGeeney in Kildare before accepting Seamus McEnaney's offer of a spot in his Monaghan management team. "Everything was geared towards winning and Ulster final," added Grimley.

Grimley was understandably impressed with the Lilywhite's 11-point defeat of Derry last week and in particular, how McGeeney has re-energised his troops after their provincial failure.

"Kildare played extremely well against Derry, particularly in the second half," he said.

"They seem to have a momentum with them and they will be difficult opposition.

"People are saying Derry were disappointing and didn't get going but Kildare suffocated them. They got over the Louth game exceptionally well and responded and I hope we can do the same."

"I had two fantastic years in Kildare. I have no problem saying they are a great bunch of lads to work with.

"I was recently down for Dermot Earley's funeral and I wished the lads all the best and said that I hope to see them back in the quarter-finals but I need to change my tune now," he added.