Cahill wants Cavan to show ruthless streak

Cavan senior football captain Martin Cahill says that his side have the leadership qualities and skills to bring them to great heights, but knows that Ulster's minefield ensures that a first provincial success since 1997 will not be easily won this year.

Cavan senior football captain Martin Cahill says that his side have the leadership qualities and skills to bring them to great heights, but knows that Ulster's minefield ensures that a first provincial success since 1997 will not be easily won this year.

"There is plenty of leadership in the squad, and there is no added pressure on me taking the captaincy from Ronan (Flanagan)," he said.

Cahill is in his sixth year in the Cavan squad, and says that despite the huge experience of the panel it is still a very youthful one.

"It's a young enough squad. Ronan is only 22, he was a young captain last year, while the likes of Seanie Johnston have also been around a while despite their youthfulness."

The Breffni County host Fermanagh in a mouth-watering Ulster SFC quarter-final tomorrow evening at Kingspan Breffni Park (throw-in 5.15pm).

Following a one-point win for Cavan in their corresponding meeting last year, Cahill is expecting another close encounter.

Cavan have not featured in an Ulster decider since 2001, when they suffered a two-point defeat to a Peter Canavan-inspired Tyrone.

The Denn clubman believes that his side can no longer be satisfied with getting just one Ulster opening round win under their belts each year, and that they need to find the hunger and drive to progress further at both provincial and national level.

"In the last few years we have just won a game or so and then taken our foot off the pedal a bit. We were happy enough with that, but we need us, as players, to push that on and rectify that.

"We need to push on and get to an Ulster final and get really noticed."

And despite Cavan's struggle for honours, Cahill says the current panel is adopting a more positive approach this year.

"We try and not talk about the bad days, we just focus on the opposition. There's one game we have to win and that's Fermanagh. We take every game as it comes.

"The thing about us is that, even this year we could play a really good league match, but then the next day go flat-footed.

"Probably that ruthlessness about us to put back-to-back wins is what we need to do.

"It's only a few hours' football overall to do well in the Championship, and hopefully we can find good results in it."

While Cahill lauds Cavan boss Tommy Carr and the rest of his management team for their efforts, he says it is important for the players to also step up to the mantle and show leadership.

"It's a very professional set-up we have, but there is only so much the management can do for you," he explained.

"At the end of the day you have to look inside yourself and expect more of yourself.

"If you are looking towards honours, you have to look at teams like Antrim and raise the bar towards them and get level with them and get a step ahead of them."

And the Cavan skipper also feels a concerted effort is needed from all stakeholders in Cavan GAA including the supporters, if success is to be achieved.

"I'd love for the people to really get behind us, but I suppose it is really up to us to push them, to show that we can actually do this.

"It seems to be that Cavan win one game and then the supporters get a little bit behind us and then say, 'well they have won one game, they will not win the next one'."

"It's up to us to be really ruthless in our ways like that, and push on to achieve more wins."

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