It was good to see the U-21s get their season up and running with Wednesday night’s win over Derry.
I didn’t get to the game due to a family event but by all reports they played very well in the first half but it all went off the rails for a while in the second half.
By all accounts we lost the grip on the game after Declan started to make the changes and Derry got into the game. It was scary when Derry went ahead with the second goal but fair play, the response was positive and Stephen McBrearty and Michael Carroll dug them out of a hole.
Hopefully, Declan will have learned that making too many changes too quick can upset the rhythm of the team and it also sends out the wrong message to the rest of the players. It can give the impression that the result is in the bag and they all take the foot off the pedal.
But the first victim is that the game-plan goes out the window and all of a sudden you have individuals playing their own game to the detriment of the plan.
If a manager wants to make changes and give lads a run, it is important that the message is hammered home that the game-plan must be stuck to.
The wobble apart, it was good that we got the result. We need the U-21s to have a good run because we need a number of them to step up to the senior team and put some of the more senior players under a bit of pressure.
They will play Tyrone next, on Wednesday week, and they won’t be easy. They are the All-Ireland champions and had a good win away last Wednesday night to Cavan.
The game is a repeat of last year’s Ulster final, a game we probably were a little unfortunate not to win. But they are going to be a tough nut to crack and they will most definitely punish us if we lose our way like we did against Derry. Hopefully, the lesson has been learned.
After a weekend off, the seniors are back in action on Saturday night against the All-Ireland champions, Dublin.
It is a great opportunity for Donegal to bounce back after the defeats to Roscommon and Kerry, against the best team in the country.
Brian McEniff was in conversation with Tom Comack