The focus of the Donegal senior team this week will be the medical report that will be delivered on All-Star full-back, Neil McGee, after he was helped from the field in Castlebar yesterday with a serious knee injury.
The injury overshadowed a disappointing defeat for Donegal, who started well, but then succumbed to a Mayo team who dominated the middle third, with Barry Moran completely dominating the airways at midfield.
Afterwards Donegal manager, Jim McGuinness was upbeat about the performance but was obviously worried about the injury picked up by a vital member of his defence.
“The biggest disappointment is Neil McGee. We are going to have to get it assessed and find out how bad it is.
“As long as Neil is alright we can live with the result. He dislocated his knee cap at the time but the doctors think it might have relocated itself when he straightened up in the shower.
“He will have to go to Letterkenny tonight (Sunday) to have it assessed and have it x-rayed. It was a stud that went across his knee so we don’t know really what damage is done.
“So it is going to be a few hours on the bus and then straight to Letterkenny General for Neil,” said McGuinness.
Overall, it was a poor result for Donegal, who now sit on four points in joint second last place alongside Mayo and Kerry. Down prop up the table with two points.
Donegal host Dublin in the final game; Mayo travel to Cork; Kerry travel to Omagh to play Tyrone while Down host Kildare.
There are plenty of permutations but the bottom line is Donegal would need to defeat Dublin and that would be enough to avoid relegation.
Black Card gets green light
The big outcome at GAA annual Congress was the decision to bring in a black card for deliberate cynical fouls from the 1st January, 2014. There has been plenty of reaction to the decision.
“ I have always said that it is about the implementation of it. If the referees can clearly define it and it’s obvious then it is a good thing. If somebody miss-times a tackle, is that a cynical foul? It’s also about every referee having the same mindset in terms of delivering that interpretation. Until it’s rolled out and we start playing games we won’t really know. I think they started rolling it out today anyway,” said Jim McGuinness.
Donegal player Leo McLoone also gave his reaction: “I don’t know too much about it. I suppose it will cut out the fouling out of the field, cynical fouling, and maybe that will be a good thing for football.”
Will it improve the game? “It should do yeah. There will be less intentional fouling out the field and that will let the game go on,” said Leo.
Mayo manager James Horan, just like Jim McGuinness, wasn’t too sure: “It’s hard to know how it will work. If you looked at last night’s game I saw on twitter, there would have been 12 or 14 black cards. I think the referees have a difficult job, and there is a lot of inconsistency in refereeing and I think this might add to the confusion,” said Horan.