Harte shows no complacency ahead
TYRONE manager Mickey Harte has insisted that nothing can be taken for granted when they and Roscommon become the first-ever sides to contest a Super 8s game on Saturday evening as they get the weekend rolling with a 5pm throw-in.
The Rossies polished off Armagh in a high-scoring thriller last week in Portlaoise, and Kevin McStay’s men couldn’t have failed to notice how Tyrone’s remorseless gameplan, as they blitzed Cork by 16 points, stood as a total contradiction to the previous games’ shootout quality.
Of the three other sides in Group 2, Roscommon are ranked lowest, but Harte is playing little heed to that.
“I suppose we can only go on recent history and they played their football in Division Two and now they are Division One,” he said.
“So do rankings mean an awful lot? It is very hard to rank anybody after Dublin. We can all rank Dublin as one, and you can rank the other teams in a variety of ways. Roscommon’s performance, from what I saw of it, was very impressive as well.
“They have a lot of good footballers from the underage teams over the last number of years and they ran Galway very close for the Connacht title as well.
“They are a very good team, there is no doubt about it — I don’t care what division they were playing their football in last year.”
Harte has always set out to win his province, but on the occasions they could not land the Anglo-Celt Cup, they have become formidable backdoor opponents, learning things and fine-tuning as they go along.
“If you win and get through to the quarter-finals, then it has been a great experience. But if you were to lose any of those games on the way to it, it’s a bad season,” reflected Harte.
“You can’t be sure which it is going to be. It is the risk factor of sudden death once you lose your provincial encounter, but that’s all behind us now and we are where we want to be, into the Super 8s.”
This game has come a little too early for Lee Brennan, who