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Mickey Harte: We've got the most difficult draw

Tyrone manager Mickey Hart. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Tyrone manager Mickey Hart. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Francis Mooney

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte is expecting to feel the brunt of a backlash from a Cork team still smarting from a Munster final drubbing at the hands of Kerry.

Harte believes Ronan McCarthy's side is much better than they showed in the crushing 3-18 to 2-4 provincial decider defeat at Pairc Ui Chaoimh last month.

Saturday's Round 4 Qualifier clash at O'Moore Park offers the lucrative reward of a place in the All-Ireland Super 8s, and the Red Hand boss is preparing for a ferocious battle.

"Maybe that's where the sting in the tail is for us, that they will want to kick back with something to raise the standard up to what they know they're capable of playing," he said. "And if they do that, I think it will take a really good performance to beat them."

Harte feels that Cork's Munster semi-final performance against Tipperary offers a more accurate picture of their quality. The Rebels performed with assurance on that occasion, routing a highly-rated Premier side by 1-17 to 0-9.

"We would have to look more at what they did against Tipperary than what they did against Kerry," added Harte.

"They didn't do themselves justice against Kerry in the final, whereas they had very good form against Tipperary, and we know that Tipperary are no bad team either. So we have to be on our guard."

The Tyrone boss reckons he has landed the most difficult possible assignment from yesterday's draw, which could also have paired his side with Roscommon, Fermanagh or Laois.

"There was going to be no easy draw at this stage. If you look at the difficulty factor, I think we have got as difficult a one as we could have got."

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Irish Independent

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