Harte - Lessons to be learned in defeat.

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Harte - Lessons to be learned in defeat. thumbnail

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte conceded that his team were second best on the day as they crashed to Ulster SFC defeat at the hands of Monaghan.

The defending champions lost out by two points in a Healy Park thriller as their hopes of a historic third successive title were swept away.

Now it's the Qualifier route for the Red Hands, and much uncertainty lurks in the future as they plot a course back into mainstream championship football.

"Monaghan are a good team who will take some beating in this championship. We had to be at our best to defeat them here and we weren't at our today for long enough in the game and the end result is that we're out of the Ulster Championship," said Harte.

"Tyrone have been on the Qualifier route before and done very well, so maybe we can do that again," said manager Mickey Harte following Sunday's Ulster SFC first round defeat to Monaghan.

"The Ulster Championship is gone now and what we've got to play for now is to try and get into the last eight. That's a realistic goal for us and, if we get there, then we'd feel well enough equipped to make our mark." The Red Hand boss said lessons will be learned from a disappointing afternoon at Healy Park.

"We struggled with our kick-outs in the first half to an extent as well and Monaghan got wise to our options. There are lessons to learn in order to do things a bit better the next time out."

"A number of key things went right for Monaghan and some of what happened was of our own doing.

We had some poor shot selection, poor handling of the ball here and there and conceding a goal and a point before half-time was critical as well," said manager Mickey Harte.

"There was a four point swing shortly before the break and instead of being four ahead, we were two points behind. In the second half we had to fight to get into the game and the goal always seemed to be between the teams.

Critical "It was anybody's game when we got things back level at 1-13 to 0-16 near the end. The next score was going to be critical, we gave away a needless foul and Conor McManus showed his class to score.

He also came to the fore when they were in the ascendency near the end and kicked some wonderful scores.

And Harte admitted that gambles with injured players failed to play off, with Colm Cavanagh, Tiernan McCann and Lee Brennan all in the starting fifteen, but none of them managed to complete the game.

"Colm hadn't really trained 100 per-cent with us and we nursed him as best we could hoping against hope that we'd be able to make the most of his presence. But as the game developed it demanded more of him and we didn't feel he had the capability of maintaining that level of the full game," he added.

"It was the same with Tiernan McCann, who might have been back training and playing a few club games, but he was rusty and didn't have the match sharpness and wasn't the Tiernan McCann that we know.

"Lee Brennan was only back as well, so the three men who were carrying injuries had to be taken off and that was unfortunate because we wouldn't have been doing that if they'd been injury free.

Meanwhile, Monaghan manager Malachy O'Rourke said experience was vital in his team's bid to dethrone the champions on their own patch in Omagh.

"Coming here to Tyrone, they won the last two Ulster Championships and they won last year's one fairly handy. Look it, we knew we would have to keep our composure, that the game would ebb and flow and there would be times where we would be under the cosh," he said.

"There is a fair bit of experience there, we were prepared and we were able to hold our scores, keep our heads and, luckily enough, finish on top.

"Coming down we were confident and we knew that if we gave our best display that we would be in with a good chance and that's the way it turned out.

It was by no means perfect. There was a spell there towards the end where we sort of let Tyrone into their stride again but we kept our composure and finished the job and we are delighted with that."

An experienced Monaghan side never panicked when Tyrone were getting on top in the first half.

"That's it. That's the way championship matches go and teams can get on top of you. It is easy for us on the sideline and in the stand but boys just have to dig in there and realise that that's the way things go, " said O'Ro u rke .

"Just be strong, have good communication there.

You get the ball, make sure you are composed on it and you don't give it away because Tyrone are very dangerous on the counter-attack when you are out of position.

There was a lot of things that we had to factor into it. They did well for a lot of the game."

And Vinny Corey's goal, just before the half-time whistle, came at a vital time for the visitors.

Pleasing "It did. Tyrone were just after getting a point and the pleasing thing about it as well was that it was a really good move even though Tyrone had a lot of men back.

We showed good hands and boys kept moving and giving it and Vinny finished it.

"It gave us that wee bit of breathing space at half-time and we knew going out for the second-half that Tyrone were going to come back at us but they kept chipping in with the points and making it hard to be pegged back."

The Monaghan boss paid tribute to the contribution of his two most experience players, Vinny Corey and Dessie Mone, both in their mid-thirties, who turned in immense performances at Healy Park.

"The two lads have been training really hard and you can't buy that experience. Just looking in the changing room beforehand and you feel that they have been through this so many times and they can keep their heads and pick up the right positions.

Keep other fellas calm as well. They are very valuable to us and hopefully we can keep them injury-free for another while anyway."

And Monaghan had effective performers to come in from the bench and make a contribution during the vital closing stages.

"You want guys who are going to make an impact and we thought long and hard about Conor (McCarthy) and whether to start him or bring him in.

We just felt that maybe if the game opened up when it was still tight, that he is the type of player who can give a wee bit of life to the forward line."


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