Tyrone manager Mickey Harte in Ballybofey Picture: Sportsfile
Tyrone manager Mickey Harte was disappointed after losing to Donegal but vowed to fight for Division One survival.
But he also felt it was a good workout for his team after a seven month layoff and they will be much better having the game under their belts.
“We had hoped to get something out of the game to secure our Division One position,” said Harte, who is in his 18th season managing Tyrone.
“We didn’t do that now and we have to go to Castlebar next weekend to play Mayo and hope to get something out of that game.
“Secondly, it was good to get a competitive game after being out of action for so long. And there is no better place to come to than here for a good competitive game. I think that has been good for the players.
“They have got 74/75 minutes of good hard football and it is sure to bring them on but unfortunately it will bring Donegal on too. So in a couple of weeks time it won’t give us an advantage but nonetheless it will bring our players on.
“We want to stay in Division One we all say year in year out. It is the place we want to be.
“It is where you get the most competitive football playing. It is the place where your players have the best chance of improving because of the quality of opposition you are playing against every day you go out.
“When you are in Division One you are scrapping for survival every day you go out and that is what you want. And that is where we want to be.”
The long serving Tyrone manager also remembered former All-Ireland winning goalkeeper Jonathan Curran who died suddenly on Sunday morning. He was 33..
“It's very sad and, as I said to the boys before, that's really what life is about,” said the Red Hands manager.
“We lose matches, we feel bad and we are disappointed about it, but it is not on the same Richter scale as this here. This is something that is life-changing for his family, his friends and neighbours, the people who will feel this the most.”
And he also expressed the hope that the red card received by corner-back Rory Brennan will be rescinded.
The Trillick man appeared to give a tug on the jersey of the referee after a free was awarded against him.
Minor physical interference with a referee or any other match official carries a minimum suspension of 12 weeks.
“It appears that was the case, but laying of hands is a very broad term. Maybe he touched his arm to make his point, I don’t know,” said Harte, who also said he did not see the incident.
“I hope it isn’t seen as serious as that. I don’t think Rory is the kind of guy who would be doing anything like that.
“ If he did it would just be the impulse of the moment, to ask him or to question, ‘What happened there?’
“Let’s not preempt what it will be. We would hope that the people who look at it would see that wouldn’t be something he would ever set out to do and would have had no intention of interfering with the match official, if he did that,” said Harte.
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