By Tom Comack @dgldemocrat

Donegal manager Ardal McDermott was in no mood for the gallant losers' tag once again following Saturday’s four point defeat to Mayo.

The former Nicky Rackard winner insisted it's a mindset that Donegal are going to have to leave behind.

“Yes it was a good performance,” he said.

“Yes we battled hard. Yes we are great losers but personally for me there is no satisfaction in getting beaten by four points in a Nicky Rackard semi-final.

“When I took on the job at the start of the year that was one of the first things I wanted to get rid of - all this 'well done lads' and 'you are getting close'. That for me is not good enough any more.

“To get over that four points deficit it is going to take a serious amount of work, effort and commitment and that is our aim. It's as simple as that.”

Nevertheless, McDermott did accept that given the injury crisis that afflicted his squad earlier in the year, Donegal didn't get a fair crack of the whip when it came to preparing for the Nicky Rackard championship.  

“It was a tall order for us to overcome a team of the calibre of Mayo and make it to a Nicky Rackard final,” he added.

The old failing of allowing teams build up big leads was evident once again in Saturday’s clash.

Mayo turned over with a five point lead, having raced into a 0-4 to 0-0 lead early on.

“We don’t believe enough in our own ability.

“We are not arrogant enough to believe how good a team we are and for wee moments we doubt ourselves and don’t get out of the blocks early enough,” McDermott said.

Seasoned players

“We've a lot of young players and some seasoned players and I suppose it's all a learning curve. But we're going to have to believe we are as good as these teams.

“We always seem to run them close and then think we are doing well.

“We are going to have to believe in ourselves and take the game to those teams.

“When we took it to Mayo there today we put it up to them and we had them on the ropes. That's something we are going to have to learn and if we do, we will bridge the gap and beat these teams.”

Despite the defeat to Mayo and recent defeats to Armagh and Roscommon, Donegal have benefited from their two seasons playing in Division 2B of the Allianz Hurling League.

“There has been a lot of learning done this year and a lot of soul searching done and at times I think there maybe too much soul searching done,” the manager added.

“We may be a bit hard on ourselves but when you miss out on a chance to play in Croke Park in a Nicky Rackard final, it's hard not to be disappointed, especally in a game that you could have won.”

Donegal’s Nicky Rackard season may be over but they still have the Ulster Shield Championship to come.  

They face Fermanagh in the first round of the Ulster Hurling Shield on June 19th.

The winners of that game face either Monaghan or Tyrone with the prize for the overall winner, qualification for the Ulster Senior Championship in 2017.