Micheál Donoghue: Galway keeping focus firmly on Thurles task

Galway boss Micheál Donoghue is hopeful of picking from a full squad when he sits down on Friday to select the side to face Clare in Sunday’s All-Ireland quarter-final.

Donoghue is confident that a few players who are nursing minor injuries will come through for the do-or-die showdown in Thurles with their neighbours.

And Donoghue said his sole focus is on getting his side primed for that clash and he is not going to get bogged down in the incendiary comments of former Clare manager Ger Loughnane following Galway’s loss to Kilkenny in the Leinster final.

“I’m just not going to get into it.

“There is always stuff happening outside but it really is a matter of controlling the controllables and concentrating on what we do ourselves rather than anything else.

“We know we face a tough challenge, there’s a lot hanging on it for both teams, but hopefully we will get the win and advance.”

Donoghue is boosted by the availability of defender Daithi Burke for Sunday’s clash after it emerged that he had only suffered a dislocation and not a broken finger in the 1-26 to 0-22 loss to the All-Ireland champions.

“On the day and in the immediate aftermath of the Kilkenny game we thought it was broken but it was dislocated.

“He played for Turloughmore the following weekend and had no problems. We’ve been lucky enough with injuries.

“The following week after the Kilkenny match they played club games.We’re not too bad, we have one or two niggles but we would be hopeful they will clear up before the weekend.”

Donoghue, in his first season in charge, said that preparations had gone well since the Leinster final and he feels they are in a good place heading into the clash with Davy Fitzgerald’s men.

It will be the 15th meeting between Galway and the Banner county in the championship, with Clare victorious in nine of them, Galway on top in four and there was one draw.

Clare have won all three previous quarter-finals between them, after a replay in 1999 and then in 2002 and 2013.

“We met early in the week after the Leinster final and then they went back to the clubs and that separation was probably no harm.

“They have worked really hard in the past 10 days or so and we are all set to go, but we know what we are up against.

“Clare are one of the top teams, we are under no illusions.

“They present a huge threat but, and I know it is the ‘same-old, same-old’ we are just going to concentrate on getting our own performance right and hope that is enough.

“The stakes are huge, we know that but we are all looking forward to the challenge,” he added.


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