WESTMEATH manager Joe Quaid is delighted to be welcoming Cork to TEG Cusack Park next weekend but feels his side are up against it in the All-Ireland preliminary quarter-final.
“Let’s call a spade a spade. We’re up against it playing Cork but that’s a massive occasion. We get the opportunity to welcome Cork to Cusack Park.
"How many times has that happened in the last 20 years? That’s something we’ll focus on as well and we’ll get ready for it and we’ll have a cut of it.
"There’s no pressure on us. It’s another game we have to face into."
The expectation is that John Meyler's charges will cruise through to a quarter-final against Kilkenny, but that's not Quaid's concern.
“We’re back training Monday night. We’ll get a recovery session done and we’ll plan again for the Cork match. It’s probably something good that we can look forward to, playing Cork in Cusack Park.
"I’ve played against Cork for years and any time you went out it was a big occasion so I suppose for Westmeath to be welcoming up to Cusack Park is going to be huge,” Quaid said.
Westmeath will play against Cork in next season’s league campaign and Quaid said that his side won’t be treating this game as a “blasé” match, with a place in the All-Ireland quarter-finals the reward for the victors.
"We were focusing on this (preliminary quarter-final) as well and we knew it was coming. We weren’t just preparing for today. We were preparing for next week as well. The shackles will be off a bit next week. We welcome the game.
“It’s time for lads to go out next week and express themselves probably a little bit more. I think it’s a huge learning curve.
"We’re going to be playing these lads (Cork) in the league in six months time so it’s not a game we’re going to take for granted.
“We’ve got to see where they, we’ve got to see where we are because there’s no point going up playing Division one hurling to say you’ve played it.
"We won’t be treating the Cork match as a blasé match that we’re just trying to fulfil a fixture, we’ll be trying to learn something out of that,” Quaid added.
Westmeath captain Aonghus Clarke feels his side have to perform against Cork, as they will be facing them in next years league.
“We have to measure ourselves against them. We’re going to be up there next year so there’s no point going out looking for moral victories,” Clarke said.