Fermanagh travel to Letterkenny this Sunday hoping to maintain their unbeaten start to their Division Two campaign.

Draws against Cork and Tipperary were followed by a strong performance and a confidence boosting two point victory over Kildare in Brewster Park in the last round of fixtures.

In a highly competitive Division Two though the games do not get any easier and Gallagher is expecting another big challenge this week against Donegal, who suffered their first defeat last day out against Tipperary.

“We feel that all the games are tough in this division. Donegal came with a late win against Meath and they were beaten by Tipperary, and having come down from Division One, and being Ulster champions, they are probably not happy with their own form. On paper though this should be our toughest test so far,” he said.

Tipperary’s win over Donegal tightened up an already close division although Gallagher admits that he wasn’t overly surprised at that result.

“Nothing would really surprise me in this division to be honest. You take Michael Murphy, Patrick McBrearty and Odhran MacNiallais out of any team they would be big misses but Tipperary have a lot of quality players. I think it is a very even division although Donegal would still be favourites to go up,” he said

On his own side’s performances to date, Gallagher believes that they are showing an improvement and it is that consistency in performance that he feels is key.

“We would feel that our performance levels are getting better, yes we have to be more consistent in front of the posts, but in terms of the performance levels, I feel we are improving.

“What we are looking for is a really consistent level of performance against quality opposition and we feel we are getting that apart from the first half against Cork. To become a better team you can’t always be hoping to pull a big performance out of the bag, in my opinion you have got to show form and you have got to show trends that you can play at a certain level. We are hoping that we can get a level of performance that just becomes the norm,”he stated.

Fermanagh were well beaten in last year’s Ulster final by Donegal and then suffered a heavy loss by Kildare in the Qualifiers but that aforementiuoned improvement was evident as they defeated Kildare last time out, and Gallagher will be looking for his side to again be very competitive in Letterkenny on Sunday.

“Not taking away from Donegal and Kildare, they were both vastly superior on the day in the championship last year, but we are fairly sure in our minds that we know why, and we didn’t do ourselves justice. We didn’t compete well enough and we didn’t show the levels of hunger and desire for simple things like break balls to be able to win primary possession and they cost us against both Donegal and Kildare. Every day is a different challenge and we have got to make sure that we bring that right attitude to Sunday,” he said.

Fermanagh and Donegal are also set to clash in the Ulster Championship quarter-final at Brewster Park this summer but the Erne boss doesn’t feel this will come into either side’s thinking ahead of the league encounter.

“We can only take each game as it comes and I think from Donegal’s perspective they will be very anxious to get promoted out of the division as they see themselves, naturally, as a Division One team having spent a long number of years in it.

From our point of view, we want to stabilise our own position in Division Two before we do anything else so I think there is a big prize at stake for both teams without even thinking of the championship.”

Securing that Division Two status, as Gallagher states, remains the primary goal for the league but given the tight nature of the division he feels it is too early to know what points total will guarantee safety.

“At this point of time, you just don’t know. I know that after this weekend we would like to be on six points and look at it all then. It is just so competitive but probably after this next two games it will become a bit clearer, at the minute though there is still another eight points up for grabs for everybody and we are all anxious to get our hands on as many of them as possible,” he said.

The Fermanagh manager though believes that his side can take great belief and confidence into this Sunday’s meeting with Declan Bonner’s side following their win over the Lilywhites.

“I thought we showed great character. Kildare got it back to six each after we had been very dominant in the first half but had been wasteful. However, we finished the last 10 or 12 minutes very strong and that gives you great confidence. It gives you confidence in your ability to close out games and your ability to come up with big plays. It also gives you confidence to be mentally strong enough to see it out,” he explained.

In terms of injuries, Gallagher says they will assess captain Eoin Donnelly later in the week but that Che Cullen is set to return having missed the games against Tipperary and Kildare.

“Eoin is going to be touch and go. He was carrying that hamstring and he didn’t do it a pile of harm but we’ll wait and see as it is a long year. He wanted to give it a go the last day but we’ll just have to wait and see how the week transpires.

“We have a few wee niggles that we have rested but we would expect the vast majority of the boys to be back in and Che will also be back,” he added.