Fermanagh manager Rory Gallagher
Rory Gallagher says the fact he’s trained a handful of Donegal players as many as 800 times means any advantage he might have had from his days there will be negligible.
The Belleek native has guided Fermanagh to a first Ulster final in 10 years, chopping a Monaghan side being touted as potential All-Ireland contenders at the knees.
But fate has now pitted him against Donegal, the team he trained alongside Jim McGuinness, between 2011 and 2013.
Nobody knows Donegal better and nobody is in a better position to disrupt the Tir Conaill juggernaut, but conversely his players also know Rory very well.
Speaking at a well-attended press conference, Gallagher told the Irish News: “I could have trained Frank McGlynn 700, 800 times, but there is not much he does not know about me, Michael Murphy, Paddy McGrath, Neil McGee and Karl Lacey."
Fermanagh’s defensive display against Monaghan saw them keep Malachy O’Rourke’s side to just 0-10 but neither they nor Tyrone have the attacking artillery that Declan Bonner’s men possess.
Donegal have hit 6-58 on their way to their seventh Ulster final appearance in eight years, with both Michael Murphy and Paddy McBrearty in flying form.
“We like to live in the real world, Monaghan, much to and I’m sure Malachy and his management team’s annoyance, were being talked up and hyped up.
“Every single day is different, that’s the fun of sport and that’s the fun of being able to compete.”
Donegal have loads of attacking players and everybody knows about Michael, Patrick and Jamie Brennan’s capabilities.
“Michael Langan, Odhran MacNiallais, Ryan McHugh and Frank McGlynn is also a serious attacker with great ability but every day is different”.
Fermanagh have won their two games with a grand total of 1-20 but Gallagher says the idea that they’ll change things up just to throw Donegal off is unrealistic.
“There is no point in coming up with a curve ball unless it’s good enough.
“There’s no point in being different for the sake of it.
“You have to be very good at what you are doing.
“You’ve got to be better than the next team at what you are doing. It’s not necessarily about something new.
“But if there is something new we’ll try and come up with that as well”