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Cian O'Neill: Kildare will have to battle for promotion

Updated: Monday, 01 Feb 2016 07:25 | Comments

Kildare manager Cian O'Neill
Kildare manager Cian O'Neill

Kildare boss Cian O'Neill believes Division 3 is so competitive that all the games will have a "championship intensity".

The Lilywhites won their first competitive outing under O'Neill against Westmeath on Sunday, in a meeting of two sides that were playing in Division 1 just two seasons ago.

Though the two Leinster sides are favourites to win promotion back to the second tier, O'Neill is expecting that Kildare will have to fight all the way to go back up at the first time of asking.

"I think every match is going to be a really tough battle," he told RTÉ Radio 1's Sunday Sport.

"People will say we are favourites, I'm sure we are in the bookies' eyes, but when you look at the rest of the teams playing alongside us, every match is going to be like that, because no-one wants to be in Division 3,"

"They will see an opportunity, it's quite a level playing field if you look at the teams and their performances in the last year or two.

"Every match has a championship intensity to it."

Westmeath boss Tom Cribbin was happy with his side's efforts despite a 2-09 to 0-11 defeat in Mullingar.

"I wouldn't be disappointed. The two goals (by Daniel Flynn and Cian O'Donoghue) were just exceptional bits of play by players. We rushed in and they got away and carried it the length of the pitch.

"We played against a strong breeze in the second half and it was three points all so we showed a lot of character.

"We had a few goal chances so it could have gone the other way either.

"We tried really hard. They got the goals when it counted and we've another day out next week."

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