Niall Morgan: Tyrone need to find consistency

Red Hands haven’t won back-to-back matches in the Allianz Football League so far

Niall Morgan's distribution was superb as Tyrone saw off Monaghan in Omagh. Picture: Margaret McLaughlin
Niall Morgan believes Tyrone need to start to find some consistency and a win over Dublin on Sunday would do just that Picture: Margaret McLaughlin

Tyrone haven’t managed to put victories back-to-back this season, but Niall Morgan wants to put that right at Croke Park on Sunday.

The Red Hand goalkeeper says it’s vital that the team develops a level of consistency ahead of the championship, and a big performance against the Dubs would strike the right chord.

Tyrone are safe from the threat of relegation, but they want to test themselves against the in-form All-Ireland champions in their final league outing.

“We have probably played reasonably well for most of every game, but it’s the 10-minute spell here and there that’s killing us, and teams are really putting the pressure, so it’s about killing the momentum in that purple patch and getting our breath back and then go again,” he said.

And with Dublin easing into an ominous vein of form, this weekend’s concluding league game is the perfect test.

“They’re All-Ireland champions. At the end of the day, you want to play in Division One, you want to play against the biggest teams, and if we’re looking to stay in this division, we have to win next week.

“It’s about putting those performances back-to-back and seeing how good are we, if we can put another performance on top of this one, how good are we, can we keep with the big guns?”

Tyrone no longer need to worry about the threat of relegation that hung over them prior to last weekend’s battling victory over Monaghan, and Sunday’s tie offers a chance for them to go out and express themselves.

“We need to go down and enjoy it, express ourselves and try to give Dublin as good a game as possible, and back-to-back performances is huge.

“It’s about putting in those performances and stacking them up on top of each other, and seeing how far it can take us,” said the former Allstar ‘keeper.

The clash with the All-Ireland champions is also a golden opportunity for the team’s newcomers to sample the unique Croke Park atmosphere as they prepare to take their fledgling inter-county careers to the next level.

Derry Donncha Gilmore with Brian Fenton of Dublin during the National Football League match played at Celtic Park in Derry on Saturday 2nd of March 2024. Picture Margaret McLaughlin
Dublin will have an eye on reaching the Division One final - where their likely opponents could be Derry (Margaret McLaughlin Photography )

“Every time you go to Croke Park, you need to enjoy it.

“I think I was spoilt in the first couple of years, we got loads of run-outs in Croke Park, but it just doesn’t happen every year any more.”

Last weekend’s victory over Ulster rivals Monaghan was the key to holding on to Division One status, and the final nail in the coffin for the Farney men, who made the drop to Division Two as a result.

But Vinny Corey’s side didn’t go down without a fight.

“The last ten minutes of both halves, we were under the cosh, but we did keep point for point there at the end, which was really important, and then we kicked on, and got it to three, which meant that they had to come and search for the goal, and we banked bodies back,” said Morgan of a frantic finish at O’Neills Healy Park.

“They still got a goal shot at the end, even with the bodies back, but a great result, and hopefully we can put back-to-back performances next week.”

And there’s another clash with Monaghan in the offing, with the sides set to meet again should the Farney get past Cavan in the preliminary round.

“We’ll not count any chickens, we’ll wait to see how they get on against Cavan,” said Morgan.

“I would hate for my ex-team-mate Stevie O’Neill (Cavan coach) to think that we’re counting them out.

“We’ll just have to wait and see. It could be here or it could be in Breffni, but we have a big game to think about first, and then we’ll go into the championship and we’ll give it our all.”