Sunday 25 September 2016

'Of course we are good enough' - Mickey Harte insists Red Hand has squad to mix it with the big boys

Published 25/04/2016 | 02:30

The Tyrone panel following their victory
The Tyrone panel following their victory

After seeing his side stretch their unbeaten run this year to 13 games, Tyrone manager Mickey Harte believes his side are good enough to mix it with the best in the country, but says that they have to prove it.

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Harte's side have won 11 of 13 games across their McKenna Cup and League campaigns in 2016 with the other two games ending in draws only after the Red Hand had secured automatic promotion back to the top flight at the first time of asking.

Tyrone reached the All-Ireland semi-final last year before going down to Kerry and Harte reckons his side will be able to swim with the sharks later in the summer.

"We would have to believe," Harte replied, when asked if his team could make the step up.

"We believe we are good enough to be in the top company, of course we are. But you have to prove that time and time again."

And having underperformed in the Ulster Championship for the last number of seasons, Harte went on to warn that Derry would be primed for their visit to Celtic Park on May 22.

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte:
Tyrone manager Mickey Harte: "We believe we are good enough to be in the top company, of course we are." Photo: Sportsfile

"We have done well so far, we have the Ulster Championship to deal with in the first place and before we are thinking of anybody who might arrive at this scene, we have to go to Celtic Park and get a result, which will be no easy task for us," he said.

"Derry, in their own home patch. . . we haven't been successful there of late and they have nothing to lose at this stage because people believe that they are not going as well as they anticipated they would be.

"They anticipated they would be in this League final and they didn't make it. They lost a couple of games they weren't expected to lose. They are in a good position to come in and create an ambush. we have to be ready for the potential of an ambush in Celtic Park.

"If that happens then, all the theorising we are doing now will have a different complexion."

Ronan O'Neill, Tyrone, scores his side's first goal Photo: Sportsfile
Ronan O'Neill, Tyrone, scores his side's first goal Photo: Sportsfile

Harte went on to insist that his side will have to be more clinical in front of goal later in the Championship.

"I would have been disappointed in the start of the second half that we had a couple of opportunities to get more scores that would really have put a good gap between us and them," he said.

"There were three points in it at half-time and we had the first three chance to add to them and didn't take any of them."

Irish Independent

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