Harte to shore up his defence after 'worrying' concessions against Cavan
Published 28/06/2016 | 02:30
Two managers with their sights firmly fixed on the Ulster title are confronted by major headaches as they prepare for this weekend's semi-final replays.
Tyrone boss Mickey Harte will take remedial action to address what he felt was the "very disappointing" experience of conceding three goals to Cavan in the drawn game, while Donegal's Rory Gallagher faces a mini-disciplinary crisis because of two red cards incurred in the competition already.
The Red Hands are known for their frugality, and Harte was particularly annoyed when Cavan found a way through his rearguard almost at will. Now he is urging that the shutters should be erected for the replay.
"What was particularly worrying was that we had conceded two goals before half-time," said Harte. "That was very disappointing."
Niall Sludden, playing in just his second Championship match for the Red Hands, had the chance to win the game in the dying seconds but his shot fell short.
However, Harte prefers to take an overall view of the contest in the context of Sunday's replay.
"We found it very tough to get a foothold in the game and that is food for thought for this replay. We could not get really comfortable and we know that Cavan will come at us strongly again this weekend," added Harte.
For perhaps the first time this season, Harte praised the contribution of a referee - with the rider, of course, that David Gough's performance will be matched in the replay.
"The referee was very fair and every consistent. He was sensible too because conditions were not good," he said.
And as Harte continues to wrestle with the composition of his side, his Donegal counterpart Gallagher is mulling over the probability that he will be without two of his first-choice players for disciplinary reasons when his side go head to head with Monaghan again in Cavan on Saturday night.
Neil McGee was served with a two-match ban following the red card he incurred against Fermanagh in the Ulster quarter-final when he struck out at Ruairi Corrigan, and Martin McElhinney was sent off against Monaghan last weekend following a tussle with full-back Drew Wylie.
In addition, Gallagher is hoping that his twin strike force of Michael Murphy and Patrick McBrearty bring their shooting boots on this occasion to atone for the catalogue of misses that marred their performances in the drawn game.