Monday 24 June 2019

Donegal boss Declan Bonner: 'I don't give a s*** what's written about us'

Donegal manager Declan Bonner. Photo: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Donegal manager Declan Bonner. Photo: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

Chris McNulty

Donegal manager Declan Bonner says he 'doesn't give a s***' what's written about his team this weekend - as long as they book a place in the Ulster final.

Donegal take on Down on Sunday with Fermanagh waiting in the final after their shock win over Monaghan last weekend.

Fermanagh, managed by former Donegal boss Rory Gallagher, hit Monaghan with a late sucker punch as captain Eoin Donnelly fisted home a winning goal in stoppage time.

Fermanagh's defensive style was derided by many pundits and the criticism came a week after Carlow coach Stephen Poacher hit out at what he called "disgusting" analysis.

"The thing about it is that the players from within that group, or any group, don't pay any attention to that," Bonner said.

"For us on Sunday, it's just about getting over that line against Down. That's all that matters.

"I don't give a damn what's printed or said about me or the team. As long as we are in the Ulster final, I don't really give a s***."

Bonner has called for Donegal to tighten up their own rearguard ahead of their clash with Down. And the Donegal manager says teams shouldn't come under such sharp scrutiny for defensive set-ups.

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He said: "It's part and parcel of the game. It'll happen all over the summer. All the commentators will talk about it, but there is no rule in the book to say you can't play like that. If a team wants to play 14 men behind the '21', they can do that. It's there and you have to adapt to it. That's what it's all about.

"It's a small margin between success and failure. Fermanagh utilised what they had and deservedly got the result."

Donegal will be able to call on Jamie Brennan, Michael Langan and Neil McGee, all of whom were injured in the quarter-final win over Derry.

Bonner said: "They'll be alright. There was a worry after the Derry game, but they're okay now."

Bonner confirmed that 2012 winner Anthony Thompson has returned to training having picked up a knock, while Sunday will come too soon for Martin McElhinney, Martin O'Reilly and Nathan Mullins.

Jason McGee and Niall O'Donnell, who decided to concentrate on the U-20 championship could yet move back up to the senior ranks.

After Sunday's shock defeat to Derry in the U-20 championship, the duo will not be involved this weekend.

Bonner said: "Not for this week, no. We'll see what's going on down the line. We need to give those guys a chance to get over Sunday."

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