Saturday 14 December 2019

Marren insists Sligo have 'nothing to fear' as they seek to ambush Rebels

Adrian Marren says the pressure is off Sligo as they face Cork in their All-Ireland qualifier. Photo: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
Adrian Marren says the pressure is off Sligo as they face Cork in their All-Ireland qualifier. Photo: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Adrian Marren surveys what lies before his Sligo team and is happy with what he sees. Call it what you want, he says, but there’s a momentum about Pat Flanagan’s side that they’ll carry into Saturday’s All-Ireland qualifier clash with Cork.

“No one in the country thinks we can win, so there’s no pressure, no expectation,” says Marren. “I think we’re about 8/1 with the bookies. If you listened to that and what people are saying, we shouldn’t bother turning up. Sometimes that suits us best. There’s nothing to fear here. We have nothing to lose.”

As Marren points out, back-to-back championship wins aren’t to be sniffed at. Defeat to Galway left a sour taste, but Sligo have adapted since. There’s been changes in personnel and Flanagan has shuffled his deck and they have flourished.

The win in Aughrim against Wicklow was their first in the back door in five years. They followed that up with success at home against Limerick. In both games, they conceded just 10 points in each game.


“You can see the buzz is back now. We were probably down a bit after the Galway game. We’ve made a few changes since then and the team looks more settled.

“Maybe if we had to have had a championship game, we would have fixed a lot of those problems. Galway had one, it was against London and they won handy, but you could see they were up and running and had a game under their belt,” Marren said.

“We have recovered well. There’s lads there who have only maybe won handful of championship games with Sligo in their careers, so for the new lads to come in and get two wins in a season is great for them.

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“The win against Wicklow was important, then getting Limerick at home was a huge help and we have been doing okay.

“Really it’s our defence that has been keeping us in games. They have been excellent. Hopefully the forwards will click this weekend.”

The Rebels have been struggling for altitude since Dublin’s power surge left them for dead in the league semi-final. Their championship form to date has been uninspiring as they struggled past Tipperary in Munster before Kerry dished out a harsh lesson in the provincial final.

Marren is one of a handful of Sligo survivors from the 2007 All-Ireland quarter-final clash between the sides and he is expecting a reaction from Cork.

“They’ve been getting a lot of stick since the Kerry game, so we’re expecting them to come out flying in the first 15 or 20 minutes so we are going to have to try and stick with them for as long as possible.”

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