Dongeal have laughed off the criticism of their tactics in Sunday’s Ulster SFC 1-10 to 0-7 win over Antrim at Ballybofey and opted to concentrate on the challenges ahead.
Manager Jim McGuinness has been rounded on the critics for his blanket defense scheme that worked well against Antrim but ruined the opening football game of the summer as a spectacle.
“We don’t care what anybody thinks,” insisted Donegal’s Mark McHugh.
“We have our manager and we listen to our manager. We keep going, break them down and hopefully it works every day we go out.”
Youngster McHugh, son of the legendary Martin, sealed victory with a late goal for Donegal and admitted his team will need to improve in the next round of the Ulster championship.
“We know we need to improve. We have to improve on the wides and be more clinical up front,” said McHugh.
‘Michael Murphy and Colm McFadden will know that. We have four weeks now to recover for Cavan and hopefully we will be a lot sharper.
“It is a hard game to play when the two team are so defensive. They are so hard to break down. For the first game of the Championship they are going to be up for it. We just knew if we had to keep going. It took us a while to break them down in the first half.
“We thought we had it our back pockets but we had the fitness in the end to keep us coming through and keep going. We broke them down in the end.”
McGuinness was more worried about the result than the reaction. He stated, “It was definitely important to get the win. Three years on the bounce and we were beaten at home we had to set that record straight.
“That was encouraging. There were a number of things we would be happy with but in the last third we were lacking composure, and lacking composure putting the ball between the sticks.”
As for the criticism of his tactics, McGuinness added, “I suppose a lot was made during the week about defensive systems; from our perspective every game is different and we try to prepare for games in that way.
“Some days you have to be offensive, some days defensive, most days you try to be both.”
Beaten Antrim boss Liam Bradley admitted the game was poor for the spectators and said he wouldn’t have paid in to watch it.
“If I had paid in to watch that I wouldn’t go to it, plain and simple, because it was brutal,” said Bradley.
“But that’s the way the game is going, that’s modern football and unless they bring in a rule change, that’s the way it’s going to be for years to come.”
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