Michael Murphy: Donegal don’t do complacency

Michael Murphy mightn’t have been happy with the performance but he was at least content in the knowledge last Saturday has dispelled some of the perceptions that Donegal were going to stroll to another Ulster championship.

Michael Murphy: Donegal don’t do complacency

It’s been said they are on another plateau to the other teams in the province and will challenge Dublin and Kerry for All-Ireland honours but Murphy says such chatter is noise to the team.

“That’s just silly chat, stupid chat. It’s inevitable that it’s going to happen but it doesn’t seep into this group of players. Never has over the last five or six years.

“That’s one of the main reasons we’re able to keep a level headed position. We keep going after the performances. It might be a boring thing to say but that’s what we’ll do.”

It’s Murphy’s belief, although the bookmakers currently beg to differ, that Donegal are underdogs for July 19’s Ulster final against Monaghan.

“Monaghan are a fantastic side. They’ll be coming in here on their home patch as favourites in three weeks’ time. It’s up to us to prepare as best we can and get a performance worthy of an Ulster final. We just managed to get over the line (on Saturday).”

Donegal might be preparing for a fifth consecutive Ulster final but Neil Gallagher said they’re not treating it as any sort of an achievement.

“You’re aware of it but you don’t go out at the start of the year and say: ‘We have a chance to make history and make five finals’. You go out and try to win the match that comes up. You only worry about these things after.”

Gallagher is already steeling himself for a collision course in the middle of the field against Monaghan.

“Owen Lennon is back now and they’ve Dick Clerkin, Paul Finlay, Darren Hughes, Neil McAdam and Dessie Mone is in flying form from wing-back. They’re all experienced players too and they’ll pull Kieran Hughes out the field and play him midfield so they’ve plenty of options.”

Last week, former Donegal player Kevin Cassidy said Rory Gallagher’s determination to keep players fresh this year may have prevented retirements. The manager’s namesake Neil doesn’t necessarily agree with his old colleague.

“You still train hard. You can’t but not train hard because every other team is training massively hard and if you let it slip or take it easy you’re going to get caught. Listen, it’s about managing it and being in the best shape possible for the match. The match is the important thing.”

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