JIM MCGUINNESS is a learned man and the Donegal manager hopes to put the lessons of defeat into practice as early as this coming week.
Donegal were well beaten by the Munster champions on Sunday and with only one win from four outings in the National Football League Division One since their return really need to get back on track on Sunday against Mayo.
“It was hard (to take positives) and the manner of defeat as well,” McGuinness said. “The only positive to take is that we got a lesson and we have to take a lesson from it.
“Obviously we’re not the first team that Kerry have done that to but it is disappointing from our own point of view after the good display the last day, that at the minimum, we weren’t able to be competitive in the game.
Reflecting on the fact that Donegal got a good start but didn’t always take all their opportunities, McGuinness said the players were thinking similarly, but he added: “Really we have be stronger than that, when we do hit a wide, you just step up to the plate again and try again. But maybe when they didn’t go over, the boys maybe felt their colours were being lowered a bit.
“Really that’s one of the lessons from today. Football is not a game of perfect and things are going to go wrong. You have to live with that and keep coming back,” said McGuinness, who felt Kerry were very strong with first time football and not taking it into contact. “They gave a real masterclass, especially in the second half,” who also felt Donegal gave them too much respect.
“This is the first time this (heavy defeat) has happened to us in the last two years, but it’s going to happen sometime and if it’s going to happen anywhere, this is the place it could happen,” added McGuinness, who said it would be good test of Donegal and they now had to put it behind them and think of Mayo.
Commenting on Bryan Sheehan, the Donegal manager said: “It’s an art with him. For most free-takers its around 45 metres, but with him it’s 60 metres and he showed it there today. We wouldn’t mind having someone in our squad (like him). I know Michael (Murphy) kicked some good points in the first half.”
The Donegal manager refused to criticise the referee, but he did felt that the game should have been stopped when Leo McLoone and Daniel Bohan were down injured. “You would have to say that Kerry are a very, very physically strong team,” McGuinness said. “When they get a grip in the tackle, you’re not going anywhere. That side of Kerry is not talked about as much, but it’s an important side.
“I would never be critical of the players, but today was one of those days that they didn’t perform. We have to look at that and try and figure out why. It is very painful now but it will be a wortwhile exercise for the summer,” said McGuinness, who said the last three games would be big games.
“It’s not just about the league now, it’s about trying to bounce back from this and trying to get a positive reaction from the boys for next week.”