Donegal boss McGuinness impressed by Toye

Donegal boss McGuinness impressed by Toye
Donegal manager Jim McGuinness would have been very disappointed if Donegal had not taken a point from their clash with Meath.

Donegal manager Jim McGuinness would have been very disappointed if Donegal had not taken a point from their clash with Meath.

McGuinness felt that after a slow start, which he put down to the heavy underfoot conditions, his team had shown good character and resilience to bounce back in the second half.

“We would have been very disappointed if we hadn’t taken a point from the game. We pushed on very hard in the second half and we had a number of goalmouth skirmishes and I felt we were a little unlucky not to get at least one goal out of them,” said McGuinness.

“I’m not sure how happy Meath are with the point. I suppose when you are one point up and time almost up you are never happy to end up letting it slip. But we are very happy with the draw. I feel it was the least we deserved.

“We were very flat early on and Meath were very good early on and it took us a long time to get up to the pace of the game.

“But in fairness to the players they showed a lot of character in the second half. In the first half we stood off Meath and allowed them to come at us which is unusual as we had played on the front foot in all our games so far.

“In the second half we pushed up on them more which was a positive and we had a lot of men going at them from the half-back line and the full-back line.”

McGuinness also singled out Christy Toye for special mention while he also expressed satisfaction with the contribution of the players that were introduced in the course of the game.

“Christy Toye did well in the second half and really ran at them which was very important. He played well in the first half too, but I thought he was exceptional in the second half.

“Darach O’Connor was good, too, when he came off the bench and he gave us an extra option in the full-forward line.”

Neil Gallagher, David Walsh and Karl Lacey were also praised for their contribution to the second half performance.

“I’m very happy with the contribution of the subs over the last three games and that is four today.

“Neil gave us a presence in midfield; David picked up a lot of breaking ball and was pulled down for a free and I thought Karl won some vital ball at the back and used it well.

“It is all about taking the positives and working on the areas we were weak on in the first half though I do believe the soft conditions had a part to play in that.”

McGuinness was also happy after easy games against Laois, Galway and Monaghan, that Meath put it up to them and asked serious questions of his players.

“It is a good day’s work for us and a good honest challenge, the type you expect from Meath. It is the type of challenge we hope will stand to us down the road.”