Harte shows no com­pla­cency ahead

Belfast Telegraph - - SPORT - BY DE­CLAN BOGUE

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

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