SPORTS COLUMN

McEniff View: Donegal need to pick it up and fast

McElhinney should start next day

McEniff View: Donegal need to pick it up and fast

Let me begin by saying I wasn’t at the game on Saturday night against Longford due to a family bereavement.

But picking up from reports from people that were at the game, it was a disappointing performance. By all accounts we lacked energy and struggled to score, especially in the first half. Three points in the best part of 40 minutes of football against Division Three opposition and at home wasn’t good.

They did improve in the second half which is some form of comfort but overall it still wasn’t great.

I don’t know what type of training they are doing but a Division One side like Donegal should kick more than three points in a half against a Division Three team, and a struggling third division side at that. Longford just about survived in the division at the end of the league.

By all accounts Paddy McGrath and Patrick McBrearty, just like against Tyrone, were the best of the starting 15 and Martin McElhinney played well and had a big influence after his introduction.

Martin surely, after Saturday evening and his performance against Tyrone, should be included from the start the next day.

He has a wealth of experience and he goes at teams, something others seem reluctant to do.

But there is no point in looking back; at least they won the game and are back on the bike and hopefully they can now pick it for the next round.

The next thing we need now is a favourable draw in this morning’s draw.

First and foremost a home draw would be good because I wouldn’t like to have to face any of the teams left - Clare, Mayo or Meath away.

We have a good record in Ballybofey and nobody likes to play us in MacCumhaill Park. It is seen as something of a fortress.

I’m not sure what has gone wrong in the last two games. Is it a case of a residue of having put too much of an effort into retaining our status in the league? I know Rory Gallagher has dismissed this notion and I don’t know if that is the case. But what I do know is this, something is wrong and we are not playing with the same energy and drive as we displayed in the league.

Management have a big job this week and the players too are going to knuckle down and grow up and rise to the challenge.

They are senior players now and this is senior championship stuff.

Brian McEniff was in conversation with Tom Comack.