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Kildare face a real test in their final two Allianz Football League Division 1 matches, manager Cian O'Neill has warned.
The Lilywhites are rooted to the bottom of the Division 1 table and they must win their final two games against Kerry and Galway to have an chance of avoiding the drop.
Having battled to stay with Mayo in the first half of their clash in Newbridge last weekend, Kildare were no match for Stephen Rochford's side after the interval and they eventually slumped to a 1-19 to 1-12 defeat to leave them pointless in Division 1.
O'Neill accepts his team did not deserve anything against Mayo and he has urged them to 'fight to the end'.
"It's going to test the group of players as well because we've no bad luck story to fall onto here. No what 'ifs'. We were comprehensively beaten all over the pitch by a better team," O'Neill told the Kildare Nationalist.
"We didn't fight to the end, and that's the bigger disappointment. But that's team sport, you either get up and fight or you feel sorry for yourself and we're definitely not doing the latter.
"We said at the start of this campaign that teams don't get time to settle in Division 1; you must hit the ground running and that, despite losing three games they could easily have won, that has not happened."
eir Sport has live and exclusive coverage of 17 Saturday matches in the 2018 Allianz Football and Hurling Leagues. Coverage continues on Saturday, 17 March with defending Allianz League champions Kerry hosting Kildare at Austin Stack Park [live on eir Sport 2, throw-in 7pm], while Cork face Clare at Pairc Ui Rinn [live on eir Sport 1, throw-in 7pm].
Image: Inpho Photography/Evan Logan