Donegal are back from their training camp and are chomping at the bit for Sunday’s clash with Mayo, in Ballybofey as the Allianz League returns from a three week break. (2pm)
Rory Gallagher and his squad returned on Thursday night from a five-day training camp in Tenerife.
Apart from Naomh Conaill’s Ciaran Thompson, the Donegal boss has reported a clean bill of health for Sunday’s showdown with the Westerners in Ballybofey.
“The training camp was brilliant actually. Everton have used it in the past,”said Gallagher. “It was surreal really. We had the boys for four nights and five full days to plan our training schedule. It was like being professionals.
“It was really beneficial training twice a day and boys getting rest to do their recovery, and as a result were able to train that bit harder.”
Donegal have got the season off to a brilliant start with full points from their opening two games against Down and Cork.
Mayo, on the other hand, are pointless from their two games away to Cork and home to Dublin under new manager Stephen Rochford.
“We’ve had a very good start; to get four points was great,” Gallagher said.
“We had not a whole pile of work done either but the next three to four games, especially the next three, will shake up the league.”
“They (Mayo) are short a number of players and with the late appointment of the management team they are probably playing catch-up more than most.
“They are also missing the Castlebar players but being honest, at this time of the year, we don’t overly worry about any of the opposition; it is more about ourselves.”
On Ciaran Thompson, Gallagher said: “He picked up the knock on Wednesday and he has not trained since,” the manager added.
“We are going to monitor him for the rest of the week and see how he goes, but other than Ciaran, we have a clean bill of health.”
Neil Gallagher was complaining of a tight hamstring at the weekend and did not play with Letterkenny IT in the Trench Cup.
But the All-Star midfielder did the majority of training last week and the manager expects him to be fine for the weekend.
Rory Gallagher also reported that Colm McFadden and Karl Lacey are back in training and getting into good shape but are still a few weeks away from a return.
A win against Mayo would move Donegal to six points and it could possibly mean retention of top flight status.
“It is a good position and you would be very unfortunate to go down after winning your three opening games,” Gallagher said.
But the manager insisted that for this weekend, the focus is on Mayo.
“They’ve had the upper hand on us in the last couple of years. They have beaten us well in two championship games and we drew down in Castlebar last year in the league and lost a couple of other league games.
“We want to try and change that stat for a start.”