Donegal manager Jim McGuinness, despite the result and the injury to Neil McGee, was still upbeat at the final whistle after Donegal’s defeat against Mayo in Castlebar.
“As for the game itself the result apart we would be very happy, especially in the second half. It was the first time this year that we found a real good intensity level,” said McGuinness.
“The young lads that went in, Martin O’Reilly and Ryan McHugh, played well and we took the battle to Mayo and the game went down to the wire.
“The sending off did not affect us as far as our mentality and we kept battling away which was very positive and very encouraging.
“We are happy enough with that. Of course we are disappointed with the result; even if we got a draw it might have been a good result for us.”
The Donegal boss felt that while the Mayo goal was a big score and turning point he felt that the game was lost in the first half whenmDonegal enjoyed a good deal of possession.
But he felt they were wayward in their shooting and passing and found the Mayo defence difficult to break down.
“We had nine unforced errors in the first half where we kicked the ball away to the opposition.
“We had a lot of possession in the first half and we controlled the game for a long period but going forward we lost our way and we kept kicking the ball away.
“But I would like to think that was linked to our fitness levels which is linked to
concentration levels which is linked to our kicking and passing. We will work on that in the coming weeks and will have that problem ironed out by the time the championship comes around.”
Overall McGuinness was a happy man departing Castlebar and felt they were still in with a chance of holding on to Division One status.
“We are in the same position as we were at this time last year heading into our last game and we are happy where we are in terms of fitness and we know where we are at in terms of the season and where we are going, said McGuinness.
“We know where we are at in terms of our own training and we would have liked to have got the job done today so that we can move on and begin our preparations for the championship. It would have bought us two extra weeks in the run in to the Tyrone match.”
Despite his team’s precarious league position McGuinness has not lost sight of the number one goal for the year and that is another good run in the championship.
The McGuinness focus is firmly fixed in May 26th and Tyrone in the championship.
“We have given the players the week off as we had planned that anyway and we will return Tuesday week ahead of the Dublin game and begin our championship preparations and we will take the Dublin games as it comes.”