Mark McHugh couldn’t but credit his captain Michael Murphy following Donegal’s 1-7 to 0-6 win over Cork at MacCumhaill Park on Sunday.
The Glenswilly forward scored 1-3 on his return from a groin operation to give the side managed by Jim McGuinness a boost.
“We’re glad just to get the two points and to get back on track,” McHugh said. “It’s great to have Michael Murphy in the dressing room again and it’s great to have him playing. He’s a tremendous leader, both on and off the field and you see how important he is to us today.
“Mind you, Michael would be the first to admit that it’s a 15-man game and everyone put in the work today. There was good determination and we needed it to get the points.”
McHugh, a student at IT Sligo, believes Donegal were at something of an early season disadvantage with their third level goers dotted around the country but was delighted to join the whole party last week, the first time McGuinness has had the entire panel together since last summer.
Donegal will need that togetherness with an uncompromising fixture schedule. Having defeated Cork, last year’s NFL Division one winners, they now take on the other three provincial champions, starting with Kerry in Killarney on Sunday.
“It’s good to get the buzz back,” McHugh added. “We had the buzz last year and it showed out there again this year. We faught for each other and will fight to stay in Division One.
“We’re not going to fear Kerry down there. If we can use the same determination and courage and a bit of balls we have a good chance. Summer is coming in fast. We’ve only five weeks at college left and then it’s into exams. The first round of the championship will be upon us soon and we hope to keep the winning habit going between now and then.”