Mickey Harte says Tyrone must move on from victory over Dublin
MICKEY Harte has warned that each game brings its own unique challenge, and that Tyrone’s outstanding performance against Dublin guarantees nothing.
As they prepare to take on Galway this weekend with a place in the NFL Division One final potentially at stake, the Red Hand boss insisted that a different approach will be required to that which brought his side a three-point win over the League title-holders and All-Ireland champions last weekend.
The kicking game which paid off so handsomely at Croke Park will prove less effective against Galway’s fortified defensive structure, with the likelihood that Tyrone will revert to a more patient and less direct offensive approach.
“To be able to do that again against a team that hasn’t got that reputation, that’s a different challenge, so we have see how to deal with that challenge now,” said Harte.
“I think you have to be careful, it’s a stand-alone game, it’s a good result and you have to be very happy about it, but you can’t make that a template or a foundation.”
Harte has set his players a test – to rise again to the level they have reached following a faltering start to their League campaign.
“Dublin know that they have got a target on their back, when people meet Dublin, they want to bring out their best, and that was our incentive – bring your best out because you’re playing against the best.”
Goalkeeper Niall Morgan’s spirit of adventure has added a new dimension to an evolving strategy. He will push up to operate as an extra man in Tyrone’s bid to break down Galway’s defensive cordon.
And the Edendork man’s outfield forays have the blessing of manager Harte, who was grateful for his contribution during the closing 20 minutes at Croke Park last weekend, when Tyrone were down to 14 men.
“He’s a good footballer and he plays outfield for his club, we all know that now. He’s comfortable coming off his line, he can avoid men and tackles and he has a good kick-pass.
“So he has lots of thing that you would want to have in a player coming out from the back, so he is an extra man, so to speak, he gives you that extra parity of numbers again by coming off the line, it’s very valuable to have a man like that at our disposal.”
Newcomer Ben McDonnell is another who has made an impact, bringing versatility to his roles in the half-back line and at midfield.
The Errigal Ciaran clubman managed little game time in his debut season last year, but has nailed down a regular starting place in recent weeks.
“Ben has been a good player for some time, a good under-age player, and he is very patient, he waited last year in the wings, didn’t get much game time, if any at all, in the serious part of the season, but he kept working, kept his head down, and now he’s getting some game time and it’s good to see that.”