Fermanagh Manager Kieran Donnelly is hoping to see improvement in certain areas from his side when they take on Derry in Roslea this Saturday at 1.30pm.

The Ernemen lost their opening game under new Manager Donnelly on Sunday when they went down by five points to Monaghan in Clones, and speaking on Tuesday morning, Donnelly has had time to reflect on that game and assess areas that they need to improve on.

“After a game you have a clear idea of how it went in your own head, and the stats then back everything up, and the things that, going forward, we need to work on.

“We had 53 per cent of the possession on Sunday, so we need to be more ruthless and proactive in front of goal.

“We actually had 28 shots on goal compared to Monaghan’s 25, but our shot-to-scores ratio was well down, and that is something we have to work on.

“The good teams, the likes of Monaghan and the top teams, they hit 60 or 70 per cent-plus and although we had more possession than Monaghan, they took a much greater percentage of their chances. We need to maximise our chances,” he said.

Donnelly is expecting another big test on Sunday when Rory Gallagher’s Derry are the opposition, with Derry needing to win by six points or more to progress to the knockout stage of the competition.

“You know what you will get from Derry – they are going to be organised, they have been really competitive this last year or two, and they are constantly improving.

“They are going to be physical and fit, and they have that bit more experience, so it is the perfect test for ourselves.

“You want to be pitting yourself against good teams at this stage, and that’s what Derry are,” he added.

Donnelly gave debuts to four players last Sunday including James Ferguson, Garrett Cavanagh, Joe McDade and Ronan McCaffrey, and he was pleased with how they all fared.

“ Garrett Cavanagh had a real good game on Jack McCarron, who is a quality forward; I thought Garrett handled him really well.

“James was tough and tenacious and everything we expected him to be, and this is the environment that we have to find out about James, who has just come into the squad.

“Joe put in a good shift in the middle – he was imposing, worked really hard and got a good point and I thought Ronan McCaffrey acquitted himself very well and scored an exceptional point.

“I think those lads can take a lot of confidence for the way they performed against a Division One team.”

And he is hoping that with Covid issues now beginning to clear up, that he can get a good run at training this week before the meeting with Derry.

“We hope to have a good week training this week with everybody back, which we didn’t have the previous week when we had some players returning on match day on Sunday, and some on the Friday night before it.

“That will just give us a bigger option of players to utilise and look at as well, so we are looking forward to that challenge,” said the Brookeborough native.

With that in mind, there will likely be changes to the starting line-up with the likes of Kane Connor, Luke Flanagan, Jack McCann and Brandon Horan all possibly featuring, having been on the bench last Sunday.