Sligo manager Cathal Corey admits that nerves will play a part ahead of their league opener against Armagh next Sunday, but nevertheless is satisfied with the way his squad is shaping up.

Corey, who was appointed Yeats County manager last October, previously guided Naomh Conaill to a Donegal senior title and has also worked with UUJ and Slaughtneil.

Sligo lost narrowly to Mayo in their final Connacht FBD Insurance League clash in Ballina – a performance that pleased their manager.

"Everything is building towards the start of the league next week and we're happy we got a performance," admitted Corey afterwards when he spoke to RTÉ Sport.

"We had suffered a heavy defeat against Roscommon and we went back and worked very hard the last couple of weeks. We got a result against Leitrim on Wednesday night and coming down here today we were asking the boys for a performance.

"We didn't come here shouting about beating Mayo. We wanted to try to get a performance. We worked hard in the first half, the conditions were horrendous and it was hard to score. We only got two points.

"But the fellas battled and worked hard. We have a lot of young players and that was probably the biggest match they have ever played for some of them. We would be happy enough with the way they dealt with the situation and we were probably a wee bit unlucky not to win it.

Cian Breheny

"We got Cian Breheny, Niall Murphy and Ross Donovan back on the field for the first time and as I said we're happy to have added new more players to the list for the league."

Sligo travel to the Athletic Grounds to begin their Allianz League Division 3 campaign against Kieran McGeeney’s side, and Corey is under no illusion about the task ahead.

"Armagh in the Athletic Grounds is a big, big game for them as well as us and it's tough," he added.

"I'm looking forward to it surely. Going into the Athletic Grounds, you'll be nervous and apprehensive, but you have to look forward to it too.

"The young players we have brought in want to play at this level. These young players will have long careers at Sligo and they will learn their trade from going to the likes of the Athletic Grounds.

"Armagh are a great team, with dangerous forwards. They are good at running the ball and are well-drilled. They're strong and physical so we'll have a lot of stuff to deal with it."