We can't get bogged down in Dublin's brilliance: Tyrone's Peter Harte
PETER Harte says it would be a mistake for Tyrone to get “bogged down in the brilliance” of Dublin ahead of next month's All-Ireland final.
The Errigal Ciaran man is a huge admirer of the reigning All-Ireland champions and acknowledges that they are probably the most tactically astute team in the history of the game – but Tyrone's playmaker hopes they can set a few puzzles of their own on September 2.
“You can get bogged down in the brilliance of Dublin and what they do well and all the rest of it, but we have to go out and play our game,” said Harte.
The Red Hands recovered some pride from last year's All-Ireland semi-final mauling at the hands of the Dubs by pushing them all the way in their Super 8s clash at Healy Park last month.
“In Omagh we got bits of our game going well, but Dublin showed how well they can shut you out. Tactically, they are probably the best team in the history of the GAA, so we've got to do a lot of things right and bring an intensity that maybe we haven't seen before.”
Tyrone toiled in their semi-final win over Monaghan, dropping five balls short in the opening half and falling behind with eight minutes remaining, but Niall Sludden's major turned the tide.
“The headlines over the next few weeks will be that Dublin would beat the pick of Tyrone and Monaghan, and if you lose, you're expected to lose,” Harte said.
“But Tyrone teams have never wanted to be good losers or to finish in second place. Look, we'll be going to win it.”
Harte played in the Tyrone teams that fell at the semi-final hurdle in 2013, 2015 and 2017 and plans to feed off the energy currently swirling around the O'Neill County ahead of their date with Dublin.
“An All-Ireland final pressure is different,” said the 27-year-old.
“I was speaking to Mattie [Donnelly] and in 2008 we were in a minor final and we felt the build-up that time with the Tyrone seniors there too. The whole county was buzzing.
“That will bring its own nervous excitement, but we have to use it, harness it and get our best performance on the day because anything less and we could get wiped out by 12 points again.
“I've been part of the four semi-finals and we kept getting knocked back and not getting there, so to finally get across the line the feeling is probably one of relief, as well as happiness. Just thank God we got there.”
Harte added: “We played Monaghan in 2013 and there was probably a kick of the ball between us. We just about got across the line and probably could have made it a wee bit easier if we'd taken our chances, particularly in the first half. You get nothing easy in All-Ireland semi-finals.”
Monaghan's Fintan Kelly stuck to Harte like glue in both their Ulster and All-Ireland clashes this season but the Errigal Ciaran rose to the occasion last weekend with a storming last 20 minutes that included a goal assist and two points.
“I marked Fintan for years, since we were minors. He's a great player, he can put you on the back foot and he can score from 40 metres,” Harte said. “But that's what you have to deal with at this time of year.”