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We don't have Dublin's strength in depth: Jim

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Jim McGuinness, Donegal football manager and Celtic performance consultant with Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael Liam Ó Néill. Photo: Sportsfile

Jim McGuinness, Donegal football manager and Celtic performance consultant with Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael Liam Ó Néill. Photo: Sportsfile

Jim McGuinness, Donegal football manager and Celtic performance consultant with Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael Liam Ó Néill. Photo: Sportsfile

DONEGAL boss Jim McGuinness admits there is "a grain of truth" in the commentary that his All-Ireland champions are potentially more vulnerable to injury than other heavyweight contenders.

McGuinness was speaking against the backdrop of being without two injured All Stars, Karl Lacey and Neil Gallagher, for Sunday's Ulster semi-final against Down.

"I can understand why it's being said. We don't have a big squad. But it hasn't affected our results. We managed the situation last year and we've continued to win," the Donegal supremo pointed out.

"There's probably a grain of truth to it. If you haven't got your best players out on the field, it's going to impact on your overall level of performance. But it hasn't impacted on the results for us. The fellas that have come in have done a really solid job for the team."

However, he conceded Donegal would struggle to match current All-Ireland favourites Dublin in the strength-in-depth stakes.

"The likes of Dublin realistically, you could put 15 out in an A v B game and it'd be ultra-competitive, both teams giving it hell for leather and there'd be very little between them. It's a different dynamic. But it's what we have to work with and it's what we are working with. We'd be hoping everyone who comes in on Sunday will be doing that job as well."

Warming to the same theme, McGuinness contradicted any earlier impression that he didn't care much for the National League, while admitting that his relegated charges "didn't prioritise it" last spring.

"People have talked about the league and disrespecting the league, but the league is very important to us. It's very important in terms of getting back on the horse. It's very important in terms of experimenting with new systems and new styles of play. It is also very important for finding new players," he reflected.


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