Fermanagh’s Ryan Jones is not shying away from the importance of their next league game against Cavan in Brewster Park on Saturday February 22.

In a very competitive Division Two Fermanagh have two points from their opening three games while the Breffnimen also sit on two points although they have played a game less, their contest against Laois which was postponed on Sunday to be played this weekend.

“They are in the same situation as us in that they are sitting on two points although they have a game in hand and if they win that they could be coming into the game with serious momentum as they would have won two on the trot. It is a game we must win after the disappointment of Sunday and I’m sure the Saturday night factor will add to the atmosphere while there is also the fact that it is a derby. It’s a big game for both sides,” said Jones.

Over the next ten days Fermanagh will be looking to right the wrongs of last Sunday’s display in Mullingar and Jones feels it is a chance for others to stake their claim for a place in the team.

“As much as we would love to have another game this weekend to rectify the disappointment of the Westmeath match I think it is a good opportunity for boys who have been on the squad to show what they can do in training and target the game against Cavan,” he added.

The Derrygonnelly man feels that the Brewster Park factor could also play a role with the side unbeaten in the league since losing to Derry in the final round of fixtures in 2017.

“It doesn’t win the game for you but it is a big help that the game is in Brewster Park. It is nearly three years since we last lost there in the league so it has been a good venue for us but Cavan have also a good record at Brewster Park.”

Division Two promised to be a very closely fought league from the outset and that’s the way that it is currently playing out with every team having points on the board but no county having a 100 per cent record.

Fermanagh may feel that they could have had six points on the board instead of only two but Jones accepts that the division comes down to small margins.

“In Division Two every team is at a similar enough level and all games are going to be down to one or two points here or there.

Obviously, the Kildare game was disappointing in that we conceded two goals, that was probably the biggest factor in that game. We didn’t concede any goals against Westmeath but we coughed up a lot of scoring opportunities in both halves.

“There is going to be fine margins, we got out of Brewster against Roscommon by winning the game by a point but we fell short on Sunday against Westmeath so that’s the way it goes and it is about trying to learn how to win those games,” he said.

One thing Fermanagh will have to do is start taking their goal chances, having yet to raise a green flag in 2020, and Jones acknowledges that they need to show greater composure in front of the posts when the opportunities arrive.

“We are creating more goal chances but the problem is we are just not taking them. Even on Sunday, if we had nailed a goal I have no doubt that we would have kicked on. We are working at it in training and it is about having the composure to finish them, that’s what the top teams do, the Donegals, Tyrones and Monaghans are taking their goal chances and that’s the level we want to get to.”

Jones though has been weighing in more with scores himself this season having notched 0-06 from play in the first three games with manager Ryan McMenamin playing him in a more advanced position.

“Ricey has played me in a couple of different positions and I feel it is one of my responsibilities to get scores on the board as much as possible. I have chipped in with more scores than the last two years but obviously Rory’s style was more defensive and you naturally ended up being further back for a lot of the game.

“I think in general, we need to get more players scoring and scoring consistently. We can’t be reliant on two or three and that’s where we need to get at, where every man is comfortable on the ball, where every man can take their opportunity.

“I don’t care though what my role is as long as we win but definitely he wants more scores from me,” he commented.

On Sunday, Fermanagh were without Che Cullen and Richard O’Callaghan while a number of others are currently making their way back from injury. It means the likes of Eoin Shiels, Darragh McGurn, Shane McGullion and Stephen McGullion have been given a chance to make their mark and Jones feels that with these players given game time and others set to return, there will be strength in depth when everyone is available.

“We have players to come back from injury and others who have come into the team this year and when we get a full panel there will be serious competition for places and the squad will be very strong. You need strength in depth and if there are a couple of players missing week on week then we have to deal with it.

“Hopefully we can get as many men back over the next two weeks and attack the Cavan match,” he said.