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O'Sullivan talks up Crokes' iron will

CIAN O'SULLIVAN knows Crossmaglen Rangers will be gunning for revenge when they take on Kilmacud Crokes in Sunday's All-Ireland club SFC semi-final, but he reckons that extra motivation won't be a factor.

The Dubliners are going for their second national title in three years, having beaten the Armagh men in the 2009 final.

Paddy Carr's charges have already cleared one rematch hurdle when beating Rhode in the Leinster final last month and O'Sullivan believes that will stand to his team.

And, while he has plenty of respect for the proud record of the Armagh club, the 22-year-old also has bundles of belief in Kilmacud's ability.

"I suppose Crossmaglen will be out for revenge, but you could say the same about Rhode in the last game," he said.

"When it comes down to it it's an All-Ireland semi-final; I don't know if you need any added incentive to win.

"They are one of the top clubs in history. Any time you play them you have your work cut out. The fact that we did beat them in the final two years ago might act as an added incentive for them."

There is a belief that permeates through the Crokes team that has seen them come from behind on several occasions this season and O'Sullivan agrees that the southsiders never know when they're beaten.

"There might be an underlying confidence, that even if we do go five or six points down we're able to pull it out of the bag in the dying minutes. It's a great mentality to have, that there's still a chance," he said.

"The last few games we have been down at half-time but pushed on and smothered out opposition. Hopefully that will contribute on Sunday."

O'Sullivan has had to watch his Dublin team-mates perform impressively in his absence and he reckons he'll have plenty to do to win his place back when the Crokes odyssey comes to an end.

"There are a lot of new faces again from last year," he said.

"There was fierce competition for places last year, and that seems to be the same theme again. At the moment the focus is with the club, but whenever that ends I'll have my work cut out to get a starting jersey."

Irish Independent