Kerry manager Éamonn Fitzmaurice believes that his side must be at their best in Sunday's All-Ireland quarter-final clash with Kildare or risk going out of this year's Championship.

Fitzmaurice has been impressed with the Lilywhites, particularly the way they played brushed past Cork in the final qualifier last weekend, and has admitted that elimination is a distinct possibility should Kerry not perform to their potential.

Fitzmaurice spoke to RTÉ Sport ahead of Sunday's double header at Headquarters, and when asked whether he could contemplate losing to Kildare, the four-time All-Ireland winner (once as manager) said: "It’s a distinct possibility; if we don’t play well, we’ll be beaten. It’s very black or white for me; if we can play like we can, it will take a huge Kildare performance to beat us, but if we’re anyway off, as we can be, Kildare will beat us.

"Unless we bring our 'A' game to Croke Park, particularly with the way Kildare played against Cork, we’ll struggle. But if we play like we can play, hopefully we’ll come out on the right side."

And while the Lixnaw man might be playing down his side's favourites status, he did admit that his job is made a lot easier by the quality of players that he has at his disposal and knowing that they would do anything asked of them.

"When you’ve been through it as a player, particularly in Kerry, you know your place," said Fitzmaurice.

"You're there to help out and do the best you can. I’m fortunate that I have a brilliant backroom team around me. I have a gifted bunch of players that I am managing that would do anything for us and do anything we ask of them.

"So I’m in a very fortunate position, and I know that, and that makes my job a good bit easier. You’re only as good as the people around you and at the end of the day. 

"It’s the players that are going to do the job out in the field; I’m not going to be kicking any points or blocking down any balls or anything. While I’m there, I’ll do the best I can to help out Kerry and the next fella in will do the same thing."