Laois senior football boss John Surgue says his side will have to step things up a notch if they are to defeat Carlow on Sunday in their final group game in Division 3 of the National Football League.
Laois saw off Offaly in O’Connor Park on Saturday to keep themselves in the hunt for back-to-back promotions with one game to play.
The picture is far from clear though as even a Laois win on Sunday may not be enough for them to reach the league final as the results of games involving Down, Westmeath and Louth will all have a baring.
Carlow’s loss to Down means they are out of the promotion race and they will be relegated if they lose to Laois and Offaly defeat Sligo – so Carlow certainly have plenty to play for.
Speaking after the win on Saturday, Sugrue was under no illusions that his side would have to play better this weekend.
He said: “Remaining in Division 3 is a basic goal at the start of the league campaign, but if we’re going to get cautious and try to stay in Division 3, it doesn’t augur well for us as a group.
“I think we’ve got to try to push on, but we have really be at our best. Carlow are certainly a team that is going to challenge us strongly next weekend.”
Looking back on the win over Offaly, Sugrue was happy his side got the win but not overly happy with how the game panned out.
He said: “It’s two points, I suppose it was an exciting game overall, but our quality was not what it needs to be.
“We turned over the ball an awful lot, but we got two points and showed a bit of character in the second half to dig out a win and that’s pleasing, but we’ve a lot to work on.”
Conor Boyle, Paul Cahillane and Robbie Pigott all made big impacts from the bench and the manager was happy with that.
He said: “Fair play to the boys, Cahie (Paul Cahillane) came in and did a great job for us, and I’m really happy for that fella.
“We’ve a panel that’s reasonably competitive so we’d expect lads to come in and add to our team, we don’t feel by sending in a fella or two that we’re dropping off in standards.”
Laois face Carlow in O’Moore Park on Sunday at 2pm.