Donegal to win a tight game

Conor McManus the main threat

Donegal to win a tight game

I must say, I’m really looking forward to next Saturday’s game with Monaghan. It's a big game for the two teams.

It is good that it is in Kingspan Breffni Park and that Monaghan don’t have the advantage of playing it in Clones, on their home sod. I know our fellas are pretty familiar with Clones, but I still think it is worth three or four points to Monaghan.

From what I gather, we are appealing Neil McGee’s red card and I can understand why because he is such a big player for us. There is no getting away from it, it's a sizeable loss because he is the type of full back that can, for want of a better phrase, put manners on full forwards.

However, working on the basis that we are not going to have him for the game, it's a question of who can fill his shoes and mark Conor McManus.

Unless they can get the card rescinded altogether on some technicality or other, I think the best we can hope for from the appeal is to have the suspension reduced to one game.

Karl Lacey, if he is fit, is the obvious choice to mark Conor McManus with Neil’s brother Eamonn being the other.

Let's hope Karl is fit to face Monaghan and while he is a footballer of the highest quality, it still is a tall order, given that he has so little football played, to ask him to mark McManus, one of the top forwards in the modern game.

McManus does the bulk of their scoring and carries their main threat up front. If you put a tight rein on him and restrict him to a few points, you are in with a great chance of getting the right result.

If Karl doesn't make it, Frank McGlynn is another option. I know you would be robbing Peter to pay Paul, but needs sometimes dictate.

We have better footballers than Monaghan and I am quietly confident that we will beat them.

If you look back at last year’s Ulster final we kicked something like 19 wides and yet they only won by a point, 0-11 to 0-10. And that game was in Clones.

If we put the shackles on McManus and Odhran MacNaillais, Ryan McHugh play to their potential, it will close. But I still feel Donegal have what it takes.

Brian McEniff was in conversation with Tom Comack.