We switched off for Dubs' killer goal, admits McGee
Donegal full-back Neil McGee has admitted his side succumbed to the danger of switching off against a lethal Dublin attack, after the mighty Dubs registered a goal in the first minute of the second half to put the result of Sunday's league semi-final beyond doubt.
"It was a lack of concentration from someone and that's what the Dubs will do. They will test you more mentally than physically, you just can't switch off for two seconds or they'll pick you off," the Gweedore man rued.
Dublin have now inflicted two defeats on Donegal in the last few weeks and McGee knows that they may well clash again in the summer.
"If you're going to win the All-Ireland you're going to have to beat Dublin somewhere down the line," he pointed out. "I thought in the first half we were a bit competitive, but the goal virtually killed the game off and they picked us off after that. We had a lot of ball but they turned us over and countered and picked us off at ease."
After opening the league with impressive wins over Down and Cork, followed by a win over Mayo after the two-week break, Donegal have now been beaten in each of their last five games.
McGee denied that Donegal had taken a relaxed attitude to the league after their opening wins. He said: "There's a perception out there that we didn't really care about the league but we were going out to win every game. We're very disappointed with how it finished."
He hinted that Donegal will be a different team come the championship.
"You always have to find something different. That's up to us on the training pitch," he added.
"We have options - we can play a running game and a long-ball game so we're just going to knuckle down now, get the heads down and hope for a good summer."
Meanwhile, Cavan and Monaghan are both preparing for a spell in Portugal at a warm-weather training camp.
Cavan are due to depart on April 25, the day after they face Tyrone in the Division 2 final, while Monaghan will leave a week later.
Both sides went away prior to the championship last year. Cavan stayed in upstate New York, while Monaghan were in the same Portugal complex.
This weekend, the club fixtures in Fermanagh will be 'starred' games, featuring no county players as they are travelling to Breaffy House Hotel in Mayo, where they will face Mayo in a challenge game.
Tyrone usually head away to either Johnstown House or Carton House ahead of their opening championship match, but have never embarked upon a warm-weather camp under Mickey Harte.
Antrim, Armagh, Down and Derry have no plans as yet to go 'in camp' ahead of their summer campaigns.