When making a comeback to the Fermanagh Senior team, Lee Cullen, admits he was not sure if he would be up to it.

Cullen is not long home from having lived on the other side of the world, and while he had some doubts his performances recently in a Fermanagh jersey have certainly put them to bed.

He had to wait his time for an appearance but with his twin brother, Che, suffering a hamstring injury in the first league game against Longford, it opened up a door for Lee and he has certainly taken full advantage.

“I got in at the right time. The team is very good and it’s easier to do your job on a team when everyone else is taking care of their own job,” he said.”

He has dominated in defence since getting a start against Down, but while he has looked after the bread and butter of his game, defending, he has shown some attacking prowess as well hitting two points in his last two games.

Since the last time he played for Fermanagh, Cullen has seen a difference in styles of play and he has certainly embraced it, bombing forward when he can: “It’s more like if I do end up in a position where the shot is on just take it rather than being conservative. Back yourself to take a shot but you know my job is to defend before attack so that will always be first and foremost in my head.

“I don’t really care if I get on the score sheet. If I get on it’s a bonus. I’m more focussed on how much my man has put on the scoreboard.”

That could be a real test on Saturday, when Fermanagh will come up against the highest scoring side in Division Three, Westmeath.

And Cullen knows it will be a big test as both sides look to keep their promotion challenge alive.

The reigning Tailteann Cup holders gave Antrim a 31-point trimming last day out with star forward, John Heslin leading the way with 1-12.

Cullen is aware of the threat of Heslin but also of those around him.

“Heslin is a quality forward. He’s been around the place for the guts of the last 10 years, and he has never really dipped in form.

“They are kind of strong everywhere. They have got [Ronan] Wallace who is a driving force for them. They can play nice football and they can run the ball so it will be about trying to deal with both aspects and adapt to whatever they bring on the day.”

While Fermanagh will need to be wary of Westmeath’s threat, they will also have to improve on their performance against Tipperary last time out.

Despite the nine-point win, it was error-strewn and Cullen believes going back to the “fundamentals” can help them raise their level.

“The big thing in the Tipp game, we had leaked a good few goals [previously] and you look at it from that aspect we shored up the defence but it wasn’t really a great performance. It was quite patchy.

“I think it is just bringing it back to the fundamentals.

“We just need to work on our handling, keeping in the game mentally and we have worked on that over the last two weeks because if you show up like that to a Westmeath or Cavan there won’t be an opportunity to get back in the game if they go a few points up on you.”

A win on Saturday would leave Fermanagh in a strong position for promotion. But for Cullen and co. the focus has been only on the game ahead, and nothing further:

“Promotion has been talked about, not really internally, but around the county because of the position we are in. We are second in the league we are on eight points.

“It’s hard to talk about it too much because the game on Saturday has so much bearing on it. You can talk about it all you want but if you don’t win on Saturday, it’s looking a bit more unlikely.

“It is more a focus on Westmeath rather than thinking too far ahead. I think we are not getting carried away with ourselves which is good,” Cullen concluded.


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