Wednesday 21 March 2018

McGuinness hits back at Lilywhites criticism

Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

AFTER steering his side into an All-Ireland semi-final, Donegal boss Jim McGuinness launched a bitter attack at the Kildare management.

According to McGuinness, accusations of cynicism that were levelled against his team by Kildare were used as motivation ahead of their spectacular extra-time success in Croke Park on Saturday evening.

Before the weekend encounter, Kildare selector Niall Carew had publicly urged referee David Coldrick to clamp down on the Ulster men's "cynical fouling," saying the Meath official's performance would have a big bearing on the result.

"It's all going to come down to the interpretation of the referee," Carew stated. "If he lets Donegal continue with the cynical fouling of the opposition half-back line in particular, then yes, they will be hard to break down.

"If he punishes them and hands out yellow cards when they are merited, then we'll have a chance. We're well able to move the ball quickly but if Donegal get away with the professional fouls, it will obviously be hard to do that."

Following Donegal's 1-12 to 0-14 victory, McGuinness took exception to the comments and insisted Kildare had indulged in some cynical fouling of their own in extra-time: "We're very, very disappointed, and we are happy the referee (Coldrick) did not take the bait. It was motivation for us and I'm so proud of the players."

"Kieran McGeeney was a phenomenal player and he never cried or whinged -- we were not impressed by what we read.

"If anyone watched the Kildare players in extra-time, there was a lot of cynical fouling. You should do your job on the coaching field -- you should not try to beat teams through the media.

"We do not coach cynical fouling. We coach hard work and turning the ball over, we make no apologies for that.

"Donegal have been lambasted the last two years, that they didn't have the heart to turn the ball over, and now we are criticised for it. The players have come through the pain of losing big games, now we are winning games and hopefully it will continue into the semi-finals."

Irish Independent

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