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'Royals must be in Sunday best'

MEATH boss Eamonn O'Brien says he is unconcerned about Kildare's recent upsurge in form and reckons a strong performance from his side in Sunday's All-Ireland quarter-final will see the Royals into a third semi-final in four years.

The Lilywhites have beaten Antrim, Leitrim, Derry and Monaghan on successive weekend to make it to this stage but O'Brien reckons his team should win Sunday's local derby if they play to their optimum.

"If we play well and to our capacity then we will beat them," said O'Brien. "If we don't then we won't. It is not about Kildare, it is all about us now. We need to play at our best. We need a good performance against Kildare and that is what we will be hoping to achieve."

O'Brien also stated that he did not believe the performance in the 11-point provincial defrocking of Dublin would suffice against Kieran McGeeney's men.

"I didn't think our win over Dublin was a very good performance," he stressed. "I think luck was on our side that day, things went our way. For the amount of possession we gave away that day, it wasn't good. If we give that amount of possession to Kildare then we will suffer. We won't get the chance of five goals against Kildare. We were clinical in our execution against Dublin, but if we give away possession, it will be difficult.

"The performance against Louth wasn't impressive either. When we perform well we are a match for any side, but when we don't play to our full potential then we struggle. We need to play at our best. We need a good performance against Kildare and that is what we will be hoping to achieve," he added.

O'Brien has no new injury concerns ahead of Sunday outside of long-term absentees David Bray and Mickey Burke. Goalkeeper, Paddy O'Rourke, is available again after suspension but is not expected to dislodge Brendan Murphy from his spot between the sticks.


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