Niall Carew has no need to dig into his reservoir of Clare football DVDs ahead of tomorrow’s All-Ireland qualifier third round game in Markievicz Park.
The former Waterford and current Sligo manager has been involved in six league and championship games against Clare since 2013 so he knows as much as anyone about his Munster opponents. His only win was in 2013, when Waterford beat the then Mick O’Dwyer managed Clare in Miltown Malbay in that season’s opening Division 4 NFL game.
Tomorrow’s tie will be the third All-Ireland qualifier meeting between Clare and Sligo.
Clare won 1-14 to 1-7 in 2004, while Sligo beat Clare 1-13 to 0-11 the following year.
Carew acknowledges that the draw suits both counties, although he was relieved to come out of the hat first and therefore have home advantage.
“Whether it was going to be Clare, Derry or Cavan, we have to be at our best regardless. Clare won’t fear coming up to Sligo and we won’t fear Clare coming up either. If Clare were in Leinster or Connacht, there is no doubt they would be contesting finals. We’re hoping home advantage could sway it but Clare have decent players all over the field. I’m hoping we have learned a hell of a lot from the last three league games.
“Whether we like it or not, Clare have the edge over Sligo. We have to put that right on Saturday,” he told The Clare Champion.
Carew is approaching tomorrow confidently and has a virtually full-strength panel available. “I think Colm Collins and myself would both fancy our chances, whether it was home or away,” he said.
“We know that whatever team gets a good performance, should get over the line and obviously I’m hoping that’s us. Pat Hughes is back which is a big plus for us. He trained at the weekend. Charlie Harrison is the only one who is out.”
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