The Donegal boss masterminded a 1-11 to 0-11 win over Derry last Sunday week to kick-start their championship on a positive note.
“We took a different approach this year,” McGuinness said at his half-term report to Donegal county committee on Tuesday night.
“For the last couple of years we worked very hard at the beginning of the year and would have started off on high intensity levels and would have tried to build endurance in the weeks and months leading into championship. We have flipped that this year and taken a different approach to the training.
“We are looking at a more long-term approach now. The key reason behind that was the number of players we had injured last year and trying to bring them with us this year. We figured that if we worked very hard early in the season that we would put them under pressure.
“We were working towards getting it right for the Derry game. It also hopefully means that we’re still progressing and still building towards peaking at the height of the summer, which hopefully will stand us in good stead.”
Meanwhile, Ian Kilbride replaces the injured David Keenan in the sole change to the Roscommon team for their Connacht semi-final against Mayo.
Keenan lined out at centre-back in Roscommon’s quarter-final win over Leitrim, but has since picked up a hamstring injury. Kilbride has been handed the No 5 shirt, with Niall Daly anchoring the defence.
Eleven of the Roscommon team were involved in last year’s semi-final hammering by Mayo and there is again no place for any member of the county’s U21.
Aidan O’Rourke has made two changes to the Louth team which overcame Westmeath for Sunday’s clash against Kildare. Patrick Reilly and Brian Donnelly have been given the nod at the expense of Gary O’Hare and Shane Lennon.
Shane O’Sullivan returns to the Waterford team for Sunday’s replay against Cork.
O’Sullivan missed the drawn game through suspension, replacing the injured Eddie Barrett at midfield. Shane Fives comes in for Barry Coughlan at wing-back.
ROSCOMMON (SFC v Mayo): D O’Malley; S McDermott, N Carty, N Collins; I Kilbride, N Daly, C Cafferkey; C Shine, K Higgins; D O’Gara, D Shine, R Stack; S Kilbride, C Cregg, C Murtagh.
WATERFORD (SFC v Clare): S Enright; D Crowley, T O’Gorman, M O’Gorman; C Phelan, S Briggs, O Keevers; S Ahern, T Prendergast; M O’Gorman, L O Lonáin, T O hUallacháin; B Wall, P Whyte, JJ Hutchinson.
LOUTH (SFC v Kildare): N Gallagher; P Rath, D Finnegan, J O’Brien; P R, D Crilly, A Reid; P Keenan, B Donnelly; A McDonnell, B White, D Maguire; D Byrne, C Grimes, M Fanning.
WATERFORD (SHC v Cork): S O’Keefe; T de Burca, L Lawlor, N Connors; J Nagle, M Walsh, S Fives; S O’Sullivan, K Moran; C Dunford, J Dillon, P Mahony; S Walsh, B O’Sullivan, A Gleeson.