Donegal manager Declan Bonner
Declan Bonner and Donegal lifted the Dr. McKenna Cup on Saturday night after defeating Tyrone but that has now been put behind them as they approach their crunch game with Kildare on Sunday in Ballyshannon (2.00)
“It was a good weekend. Any day you get silverware is a good day, but it is down to brass tacks this weekend and we are facing a big challenge,” said Donegal manager, Declan Bonner.
“We knew that these games in the league would be tough but our performances have been half decent,” said the manager, who hopes that the Dr. McKenna Cup success can be a springboard for the rest of the year.
“It is always good to win and it can become a nice habit. We have a lot of young lads now in the squad and they are blending with the experienced boys.
“At the outset our aim was to stay in Division One, but it will not be the end of the world if we don’t achieve that.
“We have a lot of work done with this squad, but there is still a lot of work to do,” said the manager.
As for the weekend, Bonner says that he is hoping to have everybody available. “There was a virus around before the Dublin game and we got caught up in that and it left our squad stretched,” he said, adding that all of the players who have been given a chance having been taking their chances.
Asked about Cian Mulligan’s return for his club on Sunday, Bonner said: “Cian did well. He has been working with Cathal (Ellis) and the medical team. That was a good win for Gaoth Dobhair,” said Bonner, referring to the Gaeltacht club’s Ulster U-21 win.
He also hoped to have Stephen McBrearty as he was replaced on Saturday night as a precaution. “We won’t know for sure until we get them in and look at them this evening (Tuesday).
“What we want is to have a panel of 30 players, all ready to step up. It will make our job a bit harder but we can live with that,” said Bonner.
As for Kildare, the manager said that the homework was being done. “They are a big strong, physical side and they are a bit like us, unfortunate not to have any points. They had a good first half against Dublin and were unfortunate against Monaghan and Tyrone.
“They are the nearest team to Dublin in Leinster and will be a big challenge.
“We need to get a big support out in Ballyshannon and get behind our team,” said Bonner.