Donegal manager Jim McGuinness wasn’t happy that one of his players had lost his discipline and got a red card in Croke Park.
Jim was answering questions after his side had lost the Division 2 decider to Monaghan by 1-16 to 1-10.
“It was something we could have done without. He’s lost his discipline. We were here in August and Eamon McGee lost his discipline. It is not good enough, to be honest. You represent your county and you have a duty to do the right thing. He got involved in something he shouldn’t have got involved in. Eamon did the same thing.
“We spoke about it there now and we have to take that lesson and see what happens in the next couple of weeks,” said McGuinness.
The Donegal manager felt things were going well until the dismissal of Rory Kavanagh.
“I felt we were in a very good position at that particular time. We were pushing on; we had the wind at our back. It was a three point game and it left it very, very difficult. They are very good with the ball in their hand and when we were trying to press the ball, they had a man over all the time so it made the last period of the game very difficult,” said McGuinness, who agreed that there was provocation but he said that that happens and would happen in championship football as well.
“A lot of stuff went on last year in the Ulster final as well. You can’t take that into the game. You must retain your focus and work towards what we are working on in the training field,” said McGuinness.
“We started slow but I felt we put ourselves in a good position. I was looking forward to how we would react in that final period of the game. Big Neil Gallagher did well when he went on. Things were moving in the right direction, but it was a setback. I thought they dealt with it well for a period, but there is only so long you can play with 14 men against a good side.
“We have played well through the league and probably our worst performance of the season was today. That is disappointing, but we are promoted, but when you’re in a final you want to win it.”
Asked if the training trip to Portugal was a factor, McGuinness said: “We are in a phase of training, in terms of Derry, and we worked very hard during the week. I don’t know if that was a factor.
“The positives are we dug in and we got it back level after the sending off. We tried to push on as best we could but the bodies weren’t able to do it,” said McGuinness, who said that he wasn’t any more convinced about the black card. “I don’t think it has tidied the thing up, but that’s probably another debate.”
When asked about club fixtures, the Donegal manager hit out at the way Donegal are being targeted on this issue.
“What’s the norm. There are four teams here today. What’s the norm for the four teams here today. I don’t think that question has been asked during the week. And what’s the norm for the club championship.
“Derry didn’t play any of their county players last weekend; Monaghan had the exact same as us, they called one of the rounds off - the exact same as us and Dublin didn’t make any fixtures.
“How we end up in a national story on that is debatable. Then there was a big issue last year about championship. Every single team in Ulster called the club championship off until the (county) team was out. We were the only county that said we would do it. Every other single team is doing it and that’s the norm,” said McGuinness, who added. “I don’t think Malachy O’Rourke will be asked that question or any of the other managers here today will be asked about club fixtures.
“I don’t think there’s balance,” said McGuinness. “I don’t understand where it’s coming from but I know it’s coming from certain quarters.”