Captain Murphy fit and good to go against Monaghan

Captain Murphy fit and good to go against Monaghan
Tom Comack @dgldemocrat

Rumours ahead of Donegal’s last game against Fermanagh that Michael Murphy had been spotted on crutches a few days before the game were well wide of the mark.

The Donegal captain admitted at Monday evening’s press briefing ahead of Saturday evening’s clash with Monaghan, that he only heard the rumours after the game.

But he dismissed them as having no substance and insisted that he was fit for the MacCumhaill Park clash with the Ernesiders.

“I picked up a knock in a club game and I was out for a three or four week period,” said the Donegal skipper.

“But I was very confident, having got it diagnosed fairly quickly, that we would get there no bother at all.

“That’s the way it was. We have a very good medical team there and I was back out on the training pitch ten days prior to the game and I got a good bit of training under my belt,” he added.

“I had a good body of training done all year, and it was a huge help to have played so many of the league games, and also to get back training fairly early in the year, so I was happy with the condition I was in.

“But when you miss any training, you fall behind a wee bit, so this next week or so will bring everybody on.

“You’re not going to gain any huge strides in a few weeks, but the games is where you want to be at and showing yourself.

“That’s up to ourselves individually and a team collectively on Saturday to try and push Donegal over the line.”

Donegal and Michael Murphy are bidding to reach their sixth Ulster senior final in-a-row this Saturday evening, when they go head to head with Monaghan.

Donegal have faced Saturday’s opponents in the last three of those finals with Monaghan’s winning two to Donegal’s one.

“They’re a damn good side and they have proven that and they have Ulster Championships to show for it.

“They have threatened and competed at the latter stages of the All-Ireland stages too.

“They’ve got damn good footballers all over the pitch. Defensively they’re all well in tune, and going forward they do have threats.

“Obviously, the Conor McManus threat is absolutely massive, but as Rory alluded to, they have increased their number of threats all over the pitch in recent years too.

“They are a full package and we like to think that we possess a number of traits that we can try to negate them as best we can, and also try to press forward our own plan on things.

“I’m looking forward to getting out against Monaghan again. I suppose we’ve had a huge rivalry over the last number of years.

“We’ve played them once already this year in the league and that was a great challenge up in Castleblayney.

“We’re just looking forward to getting out and pitting our wits against them again and getting stuck into it.

“Monaghan are the current Ulster champions and the only way you can put that right is to get back up on the horse again and get stuck into things.

“Both of us know each other fairly well now, so it’s just about ourselves trying to put our best foot forward to get a good performance.

“Fermanagh was one step along the way and the challenge on Saturday is another step on the way.

“It’s a challenge I think as a squad and a group we think we’re ready for, and we have to show that on Saturday.

“I do think we have the elements and the materials to do that, but putting it together now on a consistent basis is what it’s all about.

“Both teams are well capable. It’s who is really going to seize it and push their county over the line is the big one.”