Saturday 19 August 2017

James Horan sees 'signs of change' in Mickey Harte's approach but wants to see alterations to the Tyrone XV

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte being interviewed after the game the Ulster GAA Football Senior Championship Quarter-Final match between Derry and Tyrone at Celtic Park, in Derry. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Tyrone manager Mickey Harte being interviewed after the game the Ulster GAA Football Senior Championship Quarter-Final match between Derry and Tyrone at Celtic Park, in Derry. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Former Mayo manager James Horan noticed some very positive changes in Tyrone's tactical approach in yesterday's facile win over Derry.

Reclaiming their Ulster crown and getting promoted to Division One in 2016, was followed by an All-Ireland quarter-final defeat to Mayo that saw their attack fail to fire.

Mickey Harte's side have been criticised in recent times for their emphasis on defence but Horan saw some signs of change in the victory at Celtic Park but feels that they have yet to find the right balance in their forward division.

"Tyrone had a long time to get ready to face Derry," he said in his column in today's Irish Daily Star.

"There was plenty of talk about their style being too negative and needing something different.

"So I was curious to see what Harte would do.

"And I thought there were signs of definite change to their approach.

"On Derry kick-outs, Tyrone pressed high up the field on them all.

"Sometimes, they even pressed seven players into the Derry half.

"Depending on how the ball broke, they'd slot into their normal positions if needed.

"That's definitely a change as, before, Tyrone often drifted back and gave up the opposition kick-outs.

"So there were signs of having worked on this new approach on the training ground.

"They need to find the right blend in attack.

"Peter Harte can be very good but there are times when his shooting is erratic.

"Tyrone scored 0-22 but didn't raise a green flag and only really created one goal chance against a team they really dominated.

"Given the amount of possession they had, Tyrone should have scored a few goals.

"When they come up against the better teams, they'll need that cutting edge.

"Still, after this game, I feel Tyrone are more of a threat at the top level than in previous years.

"Mark Bradley has definitely got physically stronger and Tyrone's bench looks strong.

"He should use Peter Harte as an attacking wing back and start Lee Brennan or Darren McCurry in attack.

"Straightaway, that would give Tyrone a better support runner and more of a scoring threat up front."

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