03 Oct 2022

McEniff view: There is no point in being too negative, but we must get more physical


McEniff view: There is no point in being too negative, but we must get more physical

It goes without saying, I’m disappointed with Saturday night’s result against Galway, in Sligo.

But there is no point in being too negative about it. When you factor in that we have a very young team and are in a rebuilding process there is no point on going on a rant.

We are where we are and we are going to have to be patient. It is going to take time to rebuild a team again. You cannot expect to lose over half a team and expect to produce a new team overnight.

We probably lost the run of ourselves during the league and expectation levels were too high.

But after saying all that I went to Sligo on Saturday evening thinking it was a 50/50 game, no more and no less. No way did I contemplate it turning out to be the route it ended up.

If we reflect on the game, itt was 2-0 in favour of Galway, we brought it back to 2-2. They went 4-2 up again and then we hit three points to go 0-5 to 0-4.

Everything seemed to be going well at the time. Then Patrick McBrearty seemed to have scored a point but it was waved wide by the umpire. I had a clear view of it and it was a definite point.

But to make matters worse they went down the field from the kickout and scored a goal.

That was a four point swing in the space of a minute. We missed a penalty and cracked a ball off the crossbar and we had the black card to Michael Murphy and Martin McElhinney.

Michael’s was no black card, it was a yellow card.

The referee wasn’t great and was far too fussy for my liking though in fairness to him I don’t think he cost us the game.

In fairness to Galway, they were beginning to get a grip on the game out around the middle of the field just before they scored the goal.

I thought we had the measure of them in those early exchanges and that Gareth Bradshaw and Damien Comer were their only two men up for the fight.

But Paul Conroy and Tomás Flynn came more into the game and the one thing they have is dangerous forwards.

They also dragged Paddy McGrath out to the half-back line and that broke our cover across the full-back line.

It was one of those games that we needed cover across the full-back line.

They scored another two goals and five points before half-time and led 3-9 to 0-7, and realistically the game was over for us.

In fairness to Galway, they are a good side and I don’t know what happened them in the Connacht final against Roscommon.

They were physically stronger than us and that is something we are going to have to add to the squad, a little more physicality.

We are going to have to get more physical and going forward we need to get Odhran MacNiallais, Leo McLoone and Declan Walsh from Malin back into the squad.

Ciaran McGinley from Kilcar is a big strong lad and is the best club midfielder in the county; he needs to be drafted into the squad too.

That has to be the number one priority going forward over the next few months. We simply have to go for more power and strength if we are to make it back to where we were at in recent years.

If look at the men that have retired Eamon McGee, Colm McFadden, Christy Toye, Rory Kavanagh, Neil Gallagher and Anthony Thompson, they are all big men.

They are men we are not going to replace overnight and that is why I say we are going to have to be patient.

Finally, I want to condemn out of hand the abuse suffered by Rory Gallagher’s father, Gerry, at the game on Saturday evening by a number of Donegal supporters.

I did not see the incident myself but I was made aware of it. If I had seen it I would have intervened because that type of behaviour is totally unacceptable and cannot be tolerated.

Gerry Gallagher is a decent man and in no way deserved the kind of abuse I’m told he received on Saturday. It must be condemned by us all and it must be stamped out.

Brian McEniff was in conversation with Tom Comack.

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