Tyrone boss Mickey Harte hasn't given up hope of reaching Division One decider
IT may be a long shot after back-to-back defeats to Donegal and Mayo, but Tyrone boss Mickey Harte hasn’t given up hope of making it to the Division One decider on April 9.
Heading into the final weekend of League action the Red Hands travel to Killarney on Sunday knowing nothing less than a win against Kerry will do to keep their faint hopes alive.
Even if they do manage to storm the Kingdom, Tyrone would still need Donegal to lose to Mayo in Castlebar and Monaghan to come up short when they welcome All-Ireland champions Dublin to Clones.
Despite having only an outside chance after those recent reversals, Harte has refused to give up the fight.
He said: “There are a few bits and pieces of mathematical reasons that could work out and you could still make it, depending on who does what.
“Who knows? It's the last game before the Championship and if anybody feels that is a dead rubber, then I think we are in the wrong place.”
Last Sunday’s clash with Mayo at Healy Park was as close to Championship pace as Tyrone have experienced so far this year, and Harte is hopeful that physical exertion won’t take a toll against Kerry.
“That was a very high energy game,” he said after their late one-point defeat to Stephen Rochford’s men.
“There were lots of turnovers, when one team is going forward full tilt and they lose possession, they have to retreat and get faced up again. There was lots of continuous play there that went on for lots of phases of play.
“Nobody had any time to rest on the ball - if you were on the ball there were hits going in. It was a very energy-sapping game for both sides and I think it is to their credit that they played for the length of time at the level it was.
“You don't know at this stage when there is nothing obvious, but people will be impacted upon throughout a game like that, an intense, 70 minutes or so.”