Thursday 19 April 2018

We'll learn from our mistakes - Gallagher

Donegal manager Rory Gallagher
Donegal manager Rory Gallagher
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Donegal manager Rory Gallagher believes his side can fix what went wrong against Monaghan in the Ulster final.

Last year's beaten All-Ireland finalists fell short in the Ulster decider by the smallest of margins and might have forced a draw but for Paddy McBrearty's late effort that tailed agonisingly wide.

But Gallagher is confident his side will learn from the mistakes of that day and turn Galway over in their Qualifier clash in Croke Park on Saturday night.

"We were disappointed," Gallagher reflected.

"We went down there in a good frame of mind and we thought we could win it and it's a game we could have won, but fair play to Monaghan.

"They are a top-quality team, which we knew they were going into it. We just have to learn from it. The margins are thin at this level."

McBrearty's last-gasp effort was their 11th miscue of the half and Gallagher doesn't think his side will be as wasteful again.

"We did our review and we looked back. There were two main areas we can look it. We made a very promising start to the game where we played well but the way we let Monaghan back into it and let them take over and let them play was disappointing.

"They got a couple of scores before the break that left us struggling.

"In the second half we took control. We were good in possession and good in the decisions we made but we missed scoring chances we would normally take. That's what it comes down to."

As has been the case for Donegal for most of the year, the draw wasn't kind. Galway have already slain two Ulster sides on their way to the last 12 and Gallagher expects a stern examination.

"Look, since October 9 we have been getting tough draws. Galway are going to be a big challenge.

"They are very much on an upward curve. This is their fifth championship match and I'm sure they haven't played that many in a while.


"Along the way they have beaten two Ulster teams and put in a good performance against Mayo. They are defensively sound and have some nice natural forwards.

"They have a good age profile too so they'll be a serious test for us."

It won't be lost on the Donegal camp that the two beaten provincial finalists who have played are already out of the competition while they also have to play without the influential Karl Lacey.

But Gallagher believes a return to Croke Park will re-energise his squad.

"We have played four games and had three good wins. And we have come up short narrowly in the other so we know what we have been doing well and what we need to work on.

"(Croke Park is) a tough spin for our supporters but from players' point of view they will be delighted to get back there.

"They have a lot of big-day experience there, and a lot of good memories and success."

Irish Independent

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