Donegal manager Rory Gallagher insists that his side can take criticism on the chin in the wake of the Ulster SFC final loss to Tyrone.
Gallagher’s side were four points up in the provincial decider in the early stages of the second half at Clones before being undone 0-13 to 0-11 in a shot-shy performance. They will now take on Cork in the Round 4B All-Ireland qualifiers at Croke Park tomorrow, with the guarantee of a quarter-final against Dublin should they win.
“Stuff that is being said or written doesn’t take a flinch out of us,” Gallagher said yesterday. “Honestly, it doesn’t. We don’t get carried away when people say nice things about us and the same is true when they say not-so-nice things.
“It sounds boring, but what’s been said has nothing to do with us. We know ourselves, the 35 or 36 of us in there, where we are. We’re at training every single night with the common goal in mind.”
The Anglo-Celt Cup is Donegal’s priority every season but Gallagher says that despite the disappointment of missing out in the provincial showpiece for the second year in succession, there’s still a prize to play for. “Where we wanted to be at the end of the year was with the Ulster Championship, but we were well aware that we’d be parking Ulster on the Monday or the Tuesday after the final,” he added.
“We’d like to have parked it as Ulster champions and there is obvious disappointment that we haven’t done that. The boys see a bigger picture here.
“Ultimately, we didn’t do enough against Tyrone. We were very close. We obviously didn’t put up the right amount of scores we wanted. Tyrone, though, have a very strong system and a very strong style. The way they defend makes them difficult to break down. There are aspects, a few of them, from our own game that we want to improve on.”
Elsewhere, Galway have gone with the same side which beat Roscommon in the Connacht final replay for Sunday’s All-Ireland SFC quarter-final against Tipperary in Croke Park (4pm). The Galway minors meet Laois in their quarter-final in O’Connor Park in Tullamore tomorrow (2pm) and they too are unchanged.
GALWAY (SF v Tipperary):
B Power; E Kerin, D Kyne, D Wynne; L Silke, G O’Donnell, G Bradshaw; P Conroy, T Flynn; G Sice, D Comer, J Heaney; E Brannigan, S Walsh, D Cummins.
GALWAY (MF v Laois):
C Haslem; E Deeley, S Mulkerrin, E McFadden; A Quirke, E McDonagh, F Garvey; S Raftery, R Murphy; B Goldrick, E Murphy, R Forde; R Finnert, F Ó Laoi, D Conneely.
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