Spillane defends Donegal’s defensive tactics

RTE pundit Pat Spillane has defended the tactics employed by Donegal during this year’s senior football championship.

RTE pundit Pat Spillane has defended the tactics employed by Donegal during this year’s senior football championship.

Donegal boss Jim McGuinness came in for widespread criticism due the ultra-defensive approach of his side, as they progressed to the All-Ireland semi-finals, where they were defeated by Dublin. However, Spillane has backed the manager over the issue.

“McGuinness did a damn good job with Donegal this year,” Spillane wrote in the Sunday World. “They were organised, focused and disciplined, and McGuinness was well within his rights to employ whatever tactics he thought necessary to win matches. He’s not in the entertainment business; it’s all about achieving results.

“His record in 2011 speaks for itself – Ulster champions, promotion to Division 1 (of the National Football League) and his team boasted the best defensive record in this year’s championship. So Donegal fans can rightly argue that the end justified the means.”

Spillane, however, cautioned that what Donegal managed in 2011 should not be overstated.

“Unfortunately, though, this analysis ignores the elephant in the room,” he added. “Donegal didn’t win the All-Ireland in 2011. They didn’t even reach the final. In other words, they came up short.”