Thursday 22 March 2018

Donegal's 2017 performances not good enough - Murphy

Donegal's Michael Murphy. Photo: INPHO
Donegal's Michael Murphy. Photo: INPHO
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Donegal star Michael Murphy has called for a better showing from his side this year, insisting last year's performances in the championship were "not good enough".

With a team littered with new talent, the Tír Chonaill men produced some promising results in the league including a draw with Dublin and a double-scores win over Tyrone which saw them tipped for big things in the summer.

However, a nine-point defeat to the Red Hand in Ulster, and qualifier loss to Galway that saw them concede 4-17, saw their summer end on a sour note.

However, the Glenswilly man is confident the younger members of the panel will learn from the experience.

"The league definitely was promising," he recalled at the launch of the 2018 Sport Industry Awards. "But we knew - especially the experienced lads - that league is one thing, championship is another.

"That's what you are going be looked at on and the championship wasn't good enough. I'd like to think this year definitely there was a lot of younger lads in the team last year and I think they are going to be another year down the line and you have the addition of the likes of Odhran (MacNiallais) and Leo (McLoone). Along with that and their experience hopefully we'll strike the right blend but time will tell."

Murphy believes it was inevitable their talented new players would need time to adjust to football at the highest level.

"There are a lot of experienced heads gone but the lads are a year older and we are another along playing with them because you can't buy the amount of time you spend playing with these lads and trying to build relationships and to know their games and for them to get to know the way we are playing. That takes time, it doesn't just take a couple of months in a season, it takes years. I do think we are year down the line that way."

Murphy will miss the start of the league campaign but hopes to return "mid league" as they start life under Declan Bonner after Rory Gallagher's surprise decision to step down.

"It was disappointing at the time, we all got on very, very well with (Gallagher) but it all came down to results. Unfortunately, we didn't produce them as a group of players as well as we should and as well as we were prepared by that management team.

"That's gone, that's over. Rory has moved on now and we have Declan now so things have been good so far, and again, the same thing happens.

"The management teams that we've had down throughout the last number of years, they put absolutely everything in place for us as a group of players.

"Tactically, physically, the whole lot. It's all there for us but now it's really us as players that have to stand up and that's the same message that was there last year, and it's something that we failed to do, and we let ourselves down."

Irish Independent

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