Ryan McHugh is making his way back to the top.
But it has been a gradual journey since his recent diagnosis of concussion after the game against Kildare in the NFL.
He chipped in with two good points in the opening half and was just glad that Donegal had got through.
When asked about his condition, the affable Kilcar man said he was just happy to be back in the thick of championship action.
“I am grand again, thank God. I picked up a knock in the Kildare match in Ballyshannon in the NFL but Dr Kevin Moran, our doctor, was very good to me.
“When you get a concussion you actually don’t think there is much wrong with you but Dr Kevin, to be fair to him, stood firm and would not let me pay and he was 100 per cent correct.
“I am getting back to fitness again, maybe not quite there yet but getting there.
“At the time I had a few headaches but nothing too serious”.
But he said anyone who had written off Derry was being extremely unfair.
“Looking through the team they have some very good footballers all through the team and they showed it out there today.
“We knew it was going to be tough and we have stuff to work on for the next day”.
Ryan hit two points in the first half and then had a screaming shot brilliantly saved by Derry ‘keeper Ben McKinless.
“I got two points and maybe I should have taken a point instead of blasting it.
“Maybe I should have finished it and it is about getting into the good positions.”
However on another note, wasteful Derry hit 13 wides and missed a certain goal in the dying minutes and many of those misses were from very scorable positions.
“Yes that is one of the negatives from the match in that we allowed Derry to get into so many scorable positions.
“Later on in the championship when teams are sharper it could cost us so we are going to have to put that right for Down”.
GETTING BALANCE RIGHT
But in terms of his county it is about getting the balance right between Donegal’s new found emphasis on attack and defence.
“We did not get the balance right but it is hard to get things perfect but I thought there was some things that we did get right out there today.
“It was disappointing the way we let them back into the game and that also happened against Cavan.
“And that is another thing we need to get right for Down”.