GAA Football

Rory Gallagher sees room for improvement as Donegal get past Longford

Donegal manager Rory Gallagher addresses his side after their win over Longford Picture by Margaret McLaughlin
From Cahair O'Kane at MacCumhaill Park

All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Qualifying round 2A: Donegal 0-12 Longford 0-7

“VERY hurt and very wounded” was how Rory Gallagher described his side as they came off the Tyrone defeat to edge past Longford in an uninspiring manner.

Conceding 1-21 in Clones and losing by nine in a game that some Donegal pundits had tipped them to win comfortably put a serious dampener on a young Donegal’s work through the National League.

Saturday was a potential banana skin and for a while they did threaten to slip up, until David McGivney’s dismissal offered that little bit of space to carve out a five-point win.

While admitting that there was a need to review the defensive side of their play following the Ulster semi-final loss, Gallagher insisted he wouldn’t be tearing up the playbook either.

“We were very disappointed with the way we defended against Tyrone, we left ourselves far too exposed. It wasn’t the unit Donegal have become known to be.

“Yes, we played a wee bit more attacking during the League but we seemed to be relatively sound defensively. That was a big thing today.

“We focussed a lot for the two weeks on how to defend better and that did take a bit of an edge off our attacking.”?With such a young side at his disposal, Gallagher admitted to having built the potential of a run through the Qualifiers into his training plan for the year.

Their run will not take them into the depths of summer with performances like the one against Longford and the former Fermanagh forward says they must find a better balance.

“It’s getting the win but you can’t disguise that you’d want to play better. You have to be very real and we will be. You wouldn’t be happy with that level of performance, we think we’re a much better team than that.

“We’d be happy with the defensive side but we have to be able to marry the two and put up 17 or 18 points as well.”

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