Fermanagh midfielder Ryan Jones is expecting a response from Tipperary this weekend after they lost their opening league game to Meath on Sunday but he also stresses that this is a game that Fermanagh will also be targeting the two points from.

Fermanagh’s performance in their draw against Cork included a mixture of the good and the bad and Jones states that they will be looking for an improved display in Thurles this weekend.

“Tipperary lost their opening game and you can be sure that they will be looking to get a reaction after that. It’s a home game for them and they will be looking at it as the chance to get two points on the board. But we will look to target this game as well, it’s a tough division and we will be looking to get points on the board early doors.

“We will have to analyse our first half performance against Cork because if we play like that again then we won’t get too much out of it. But we will look at it and try to put in an improved performance,” he added.

Fermanagh struggled to make an impact during the first half against Cork and Jones can’t put his finger on what exactly the issue was as they registered a solitary point in the first 35 minutes although it was a much more pleasing second half..

“I don’t know what was wrong in the first half. We were very flat and played within ourselves and we didn’t seem to have any attacking threat whatsoever which showed in that we only scored one point.

“At the start of the second half we played a lot better, we came out and attacked in threes and fours and drove at them. It’s just trying to get that over the 70 minutes and not 20 or 25 minutes,” he explained.

Fermanagh looked to have got themselves into a position to win the game as they led by two and had a man extra after Cork had Ruairi Deane sent off but then they let the Rebels in for a goal.

A late Conall Jones point from a mark though rescued a draw from the game and Jones acknowledged that it was important not to lose the opening game.

“If we lost that game, and it looked that we were going to because they had a free out with about ten seconds to go and somehow we got the ball back and ended up levelling it, it would have been a killer blow. With an away game then coming up in Tipperary it would have been hard to lift the troops. Look, it was probably disappointing overall but I suppose at the end of the day we didn’t lose,” he added.

Whether it is a point gained or a point lost though, only time will tell.

“It was possibly a point dropped and not one gained. It is what it is but we will probably know as the league goes on who are the stronger teams and who are the weaker teams.

“It is hard to know at the start but we got a point and we didn’t lose here at Brewster Park and we will just have to go again next week and try and improve the performance all around,” he said.

One of the encouraging aspects to come out of the Cork game was the impact of the debutants and Jones says that is pleasing because it is vital to have a strong competition for places within the squad.

“There are a couple of boys like Barry Mulrone and Mickey Jones who aren’t around at the minute for one reason or another and Tomás is away and Seamie is not about so it is an opportunity for other boys to step up into it.

“A lot of those younger boys, the likes of Jonny Cassidy and Garvan, they have been playing good football for their clubs and they are well able to step in and that’s what we need, everyone pushing for places,” he added.