Donegal midfielder, Rory Kavanagh, was high in his praise of the huge Donegal support which lifted Donegal in Carrick-on-Shannon on Saturday.
The Donegal support outnumbered Laois by 3-1 in Pairc Sean Mhic Diarmaid and Rory Kavanagh felt it was factor in Donegal getting back on track.
“On the bus on the way into the game, every other car had the Donegal colours,” said Rory.
“When you see that there and you see that the people of the county are still behind you and the massive, massive support we got there today. It gave us a brilliant lift and you could hear them coming off at half-time.
“That level of support is still very much behind the team and that’s a big boost for us going forward.”
The St. Eunan’s man was upbeat about the display but also felt there was plenty of room for improvement.
“It was very tough. I suppose we had to get back to basics, to what we do well, defend well. We have to use that going forward.
“There were a lot of mistakes out there too, but in terms of attitude and want and hunger again, we are still in this,” said Rory.
He felt that although Donegal struggled, they were beginning to get the important aspects of the running game back on track.
“It’s important we can build on that now and we can bring it to another level again in Croke Park as it gets down to the serious part next week. We just have to recover,” he said,.
Donegal went staight to the pool after the game to warm down hoping that the water would help tired limbs be ready for another tough game on Sunday next.
“Our focus now is on the quarter-final. I suppose there was a bit of pressure on that game coming in, but it’s great to get that one over and done with.”
He also felt that Donegal have now to show the pride that goes with being All-Ireland champions and Sunday next will be the perfect opportunity.
“You have to take a bit of pride in yourself. We were very, very disappointed after the Ulster final.
“But you know, good teams bounce back and that’s what we did today,” said the St. Eunan’s man.
Donegal will renew rivalry with defeated All-Ireland finalists Mayo and Kavanagh and Donegal know that nothing short of their best will be good enough.
But for now Rory and Donegal are just happy to be in the last eight of the All-Ireland Championship series.