GAELIC GAMES

Michael Murphy expecting a huge test in Roscommon

Donegal hoping for good result after Kerry defeat

Michael Murphy expecting a huge test in Roscommon

Tom Comack sport@donegaldemocrat.com @dgldemocrat

Donegal’s opponents this weekend Roscommon may one of the favourites for the drop to Division Two football next season, but Donegal captain, Michael Murphy has a different view.

“Roscommon are going to be a huge game too for us,” the Donegal skipper insisted.

“They are a Division One side; they are there on merit. We know what they did to us here last year.”

Roscommon defeated Donegal by five points, 1-19 to 0-17, in last season’s league meeting in O’Donnell Park.

“We know the capability they have and we know that it is going to be an absolutely huge task, as is every single game in Division One.”

And it is not about avenging last year’s defeat in O’Donnell Park for the Donegal captain, it is about getting the league points on board as Donegal bid first and foremost to retain their status in the top flight.

“The big drive against Roscommon is to get a performance; we got it towards the tail end of the game against Kerry, when it was far too late and when Kerry had taken the foot off the gas.

“We really need to do it from the off against Roscommon and limit the amount of mistakes we make.

“And if we can do that week on week and building towards the summer hopefully we will be in a good place.”

And for the Donegal skipper Division One is the place to be and it is worth putting in the effort to stay at the top table.

“What better place to be in terms of learning and in terms of getting yourself right for playing in the championship than in Division One.

“And no matter what type of team we have as a Donegal team we want to be in Division One playing against all the better teams because we believe it gives us the best opportunity to prepare for the big stuff in the championship in the summer.”

The captain also acknowledges it is the first big game away from home for many of the younger players.

But he also believes they have enough experience from their minor and U-21 days and big games away in the championship, will have prepared them for Sunday’s joust in Hyde Park.

He also feels that Donegal must react to last Sunday’s defeat in a positive manner and take the positives from the Kerry game with them to Roscommon.

“It was important that we get a reaction for the young lads and the couple of newer lads like Eoin McHugh, Ciaran Thompson and Marty O’Reilly, Stephen McBrearty and even Jigger coming in.

“I thought they acquitted themselves very well when they came on and I suppose they are the backbone of the team and I thought they really played well.

“It is important that we take the learnings from the Kerry game going in against Roscommon.

“It is a quick turnaround of just a week and that is really positive and I look on it as a positive and I know the rest of the lads look on it as a great opportunity to rectify the poor performance against Kerry.”