Just glad to get out of here, said Brian Dooher as he broke a crazy second half down into the simplest of terms.
His Tyrone team was in control of the Ulster final until Monaghan arrived late to the party and caused mayhem with a riot of uninhibited attack.
They came to within a point, but could not get that vital last score they needed to push a thrilling decider to extra-time.
“I suppose relief, after that second half. Just glad to get out of here. There was a long period there, especially at the end of it the way Monaghan were coming at us, we struggled to contain them. We were just a bit disjointed ourselves,” said Dooher afterwards.
“It was a tough second half but thankfully we were able to chip in with a few scores and that’s what got us through in the end up.
“Monaghan, to be fair to them, came at us and pressed hard, with a lot more intensity. They asked hard questions of us. We didn’t start the second half with the same purpose and intensity as we had in the first.
“Any day that happens, you go on momentum and Monaghan had the momentum, they had their purple patch and they could chip in with a few scores and they probably should have had a few more scores.”
Dooher accepted that Tyrone still have a way to go ahead of their All-Ireland semi-final meeting with Kerry.
“We are just glad to get through it, we have a lot to work on but I suppose we have the next two weeks to work on it anyway.”
The double All-Ireland winning captain patrolled the Croke Park sideline alone, his management partner Feargal Logan back home, self-isolating, as were a number of the Tyrone players after being deemed close contacts of Covid cases.
“It’s well known we had a few men out with close contacts and one thing and another with Covid. It’s precautionary and we are taking no chances with it and taking advice from our medical team,” said Dooher.
“It left us down a few players. That’s the environment we are in at the moment, you have a high level of Covid in the community and our people live in the community.
“They keep themselves to themselves as much as possible but there are risk factors out there.
“I would be very disappointed for Feargal and Feargal would be disappointed not to be here.
“I suppose that was the medical advice that had to be adhered to. But Feargal had his input. He was in our ears and had valuable input to contribute during the match. And we took that on board.”