McManus not thinking about inter-county finale

Conor McManus watches his free
Conor McManus made his debut for Monaghan in 2007 [Getty Images]

Monaghan's Conor McManus says he is giving no thought to the end of his inter-county career.

The 36-year-old previously told the The GAA Social podcast that this will likely be his final season with the Farney County after dealing with a troublesome hip in recent years, but has stopped short of revealing any definitive retirement plan.

Vinny Corey's side advanced to the All-Ireland preliminary quarter-finals thanks to Sunday's victory over Meath in Breffni Park.

It was their first win since January, with the 1-17 to 1-14 triumph coming when defeat would have ended their campaign.

"You're more thinking about the game and how you can affect it," said the Clontibret man when asked if it had crossed his mind that this could be his last Monaghan game.

"Listen, that day will come and we'll deal with it when it comes."

With a repeat fixture against Louth in the knockouts not possible, Monaghan will find out whether they face Tyrone, Galway or Mayo next weekend in Monday morning's draw.

"You're at that stage of the championship, it's down to 12 teams now. You don't expect anything easy," added McManus.

"We've had many tough games this year and many tough championship games over the years.

"We'll get ourselves dusted down and we'll get ready for what comes our way next weekend."

McManus again came off the bench against Meath, hitting a crucial late free as Colm O'Rourke's men threatened a comeback from nine points down.

"It's something we'll have to look at," said the three-time All-Star of how his side finished the game.

"We had a chance to kick on and close the game out more comfortably than we did. Meath will always die with their boots on.

"You do what you can to help the team. Some of the days you start, some of the days you're coming off the bench and it's whatever is needed on any particular day."

'It really starts from now'

Having not won since 27 January when they overcame All-Ireland champions Dublin in the opening round of the Allianz League, McManus added that the result was "the most important thing" for Monaghan against the Royal County.

"Given our recent run of results we had to come here and get a win first and foremost, that was the most important thing.

"We've done that and our name is in the hat tomorrow morning.

"Knockout championship football, this week and next week are really what the championship is about. It really starts from now on in. We're just happy to be in the hat."