Fermanagh half back Declan McCusker feels that they will face their toughest test to date this Saturday night when they host Derry under the lights at Brewster Park.
Fermanagh will go into the game in a confident frame of mind having recorded three wins out of three to leave them sitting alongside Armagh at the top of the Division Three table, but Derry will travel to Enniskillen buoyed by their first league win of the campaign over Offaly last Sunday.
“It’s another massive game and will be a step up from anything we have played so far. Any game against another Ulster team is always tough and we will be expecting nothing easy from Derry. Hopefully we will get a dry week and the pitch will dry out a bit and it will be nice to be back home again,” said McCusker.
Ederney man McCusker has been one of Fermanagh most impressive performers over the opening three league games and was in fine form last Sunday in Sligo as he got forward to notch three points from play. And he says he is enjoying things so far this season under new manager Rory Gallagher.
“I’ve been happy enough so far. It’s nice to kick a couple of points, every half back likes to get forward and get a few shots away, but there is more to it than that and I know I have a lot to still work on. 
“I think everybody is enjoying it, whenever you get a new management team it freshens everything up and everybody pushes on. You are asked to do different things that maybe you weren’t asked before and that can freshen your own game and benefit your own game,” he added.
Fermanagh registered their third successive win with a five point victory in Sligo and McCusker says that the key thing was simply to win the game.
“It was an important win,” said McCusker.  “There are plenty of teams who have went there and slipped up over the years so we needed to just make sure that we got the job done and thankfully we did. It probably wasn’t pretty at times but it was tough enough conditions and it is the sort of place where if you go there and get the win you are happy enough.”
Indeed, it looked as if it could be one of those days early on as Fermanagh struggled to get an early footing in the game as they slipped three points behind after four minutes.
“The first five minutes we were sleeping and we were very sluggish. 
“I suppose it was our first away league game and maybe that had a bearing on it. We were  used to our home comforts for the first two league games, we had our routine before games and that was the first change to it so maybe it took us five minutes or so to get into it. Luckily we got going then alright,” he added.
Fermanagh turned the game around after this and went in four points ahead at half time but although they never looked in danger, they didn’t put the game beyond Sligo until late on. 
“I don’t think that bar the first five minutes we ever looked like losing the game. We were probably comfortable enough in that sense but at the same time you do want to be putting teams away and we never put them away as early as we should have. 
“We probably rushed a few shots in the second half when we should have kept the ball and tried to work better scoring chances.”
The win though leaves Fermanagh on maximum points after their opening three games and McCusker says that is what they targeted at the start of the league.
“They were games we would have been looking at at the start that we should be winning and if we have any chance of  pushing for promotion, which we want to do, we needed to be winning those first three games. The games will get tougher and tougher as we go along,” he said.
And McCusker stresses that while they have been winning, there is still plenty of room for improvement.
“Every game we have played I think we have improved but obviously there is lots more improving to be done. 
“We are not thinking that we are flying, we’ve probably left all games thinking we should have been better but it keeps boys feet on the ground and keeps them working hard because they know that there’s a lot of improving to do,” he commented.