Jack O’Connor’s Kerry are the hottest of favourites heading into the Killarney tie with Lee mindful of the Kingdom threat, while also trying to play their own game and “be positive”.
“When Kerry get goals, they get momentum and the crowd behind them and the crowd wants to see them playing positive, attacking football and free-flowing football. It’s like a tidal wave coming against a team at that point,” said Lee yesterday.
“We’ve got to be mindful of that. At the same time, we have to back ourselves and believe in ourselves and attack the game and be positive. We’re here to enjoy it – I keep saying that to the lads, ‘Sport is to be enjoyed’.
“If we go to Killarney to come up with a plan that’s going to be horrendous for the lads to enjoy, they’re not going to be able to get to the pitch of it because they won’t be enjoying themselves. We’ve got to get the balance right.”
Lee reported a clean bill of health as they chase a second provincial crown, and a first since 1896, and knows that they will have to pay particular attention to a “special player” in David Clifford without neglecting the rest of Kerry’s attack.
“David seems to be a special player, Kerry always seem to produce special players. Time will prove it when you compare David to the ‘Gooch’ (Colm Cooper), and Maurice Fitz and all the greats they’ve had up front, the Bomber (Eoin Liston), Mikey Sheehy,” Lee said.
“Time will really judge David against those – he’s a special talent and it’s great for the game that he’s there, he draws a lot of attention from supporters nationwide.
“It’s great for the sport, but it’ll cause me a headache between now and Saturday.
“We’ll have to come up with a plan, but if we think it’s all about David Clifford we’ll be quickly in trouble. We can’t just focus on David, we have to keep focused on ourselves and be aware of the dangers from all over the place.”
One forward which Lee will not have to contend with, however, is Dara Moynihan with the all-action attacker nursing a quad injury that will see him miss out this weekend.
His Spa club-mate Dan O’Donoghue is also unlikely to feature while O’Connor confirmed that midfielder Stefan Okunbor faces some time out due to a calf injury with defender Mike Breen missing the remainder of the inter-county season with a long-term injury.