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Neil: I chew GAA fat with McGuinness

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Donegal manager Jim McGuinness. Picture: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE

Donegal manager Jim McGuinness. Picture: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE

Donegal manager Jim McGuinness. Picture: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE

MONDAY-MORNING chats at Celtic's training ground now focus on the weekend's events in the All-Ireland championship.

And while Neil Lennon bemoans the current state of his native Armagh, he says he's delighted with the job that Jim McGuinness (pictured below) is doing at the club, in spite of the demands on the Donegal manager's time.

"Jim is a very intelligent man," said Lennon when asked about the impact McGuinness is making at Celtic.

"Just little snippets of how he works but it's how he has evolved his ideas on the Gaelic game, how he took Donegal from the third division to the Champions League in a short space of time.

"We chew the fat over a lot of things, not just Gaelic but the psychology of sport more than anything else.

"He was very nervous going into the Tyrone game but that has given Donegal a huge psychological lift for the rest of the campaign.

"We spoke briefly last Monday and he was pleased with how they came through that. If they had been beaten there would have been a lot of people sharpening the knives, saying that he wasn't focused on the Donegal job, that he was spending two-to-three days a week in Glasgow.

"But we made sure that wouldn't override his primary job which is working with Donegal.

"He is working very well with the younger players.

"What we want from Jim is to build up a profile of all the younger players, their strengths and weaknesses, and not just football-wise because we know that anyway but their private lives as well," added Lennon, a minor star with Armagh who was sorry to see his side lose heavily to Cavan in the Ulster championship.

"There are a few grumpy fans in Armagh, here is one sitting here. We had a great decade there but Armagh are going through a transitional phase, which a lot of counties do," added Lennon.


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