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Belfast Live
Belfast Live
Pat Nolan

Tyrone 'soul-searching' helped galvanise players after Roscommon defeat

Frank Burns has revealed how joint-manager Brian Dooher threw down the gauntlet to the Tyrone players in the wake of their defeat to Roscommon.

On the back of a poor defence of their All-Ireland title last year, further question marks emerged after they were swamped at Dr Hyde Park in their League opener, though they bounced back with a strong performance against Donegal in Omagh on Sunday, running out 0-16 to 0-8 winners.

Burns was particularly impressive having been restored to the team after failing to even get off the bench against Roscommon.

Read more: Down sweating on fitness of key forward as Conor Laverty hails Mournemen spirit

“There was a bit of soul-searching at training in Garvaghey during the week,” he explained.

“People were saying we had perhaps become a bit soft after winning the All-Ireland and Brian put that question to us to see what was in the bellies and thankfully we got a response but we have to keep showing that going forward.

“I wouldn’t say we got a bit soft and trained any less than teams did in years gone by when defending the All-Ireland. Honestly, it’s hard to just put the finger on what happened last year as we trained just as hard as we did in 2021 if not harder.

“It’s a new year and we just wanted to push as hard as we can and see where it takes us.

“Last week in Roscommon was under par for us but the good thing about the National League is that there is only a week between games. We knew we had only seven days to get ready for Donegal and show a bit of a response and thankfully we did that.”

Having conceded 3-11 to both Roscommon and Derry in the McKenna Cup final, Burns was encouraged by the team’s defensive showing against Donegal.

“We knew we had to get off to a fast start because if Donegal get in front they are a hard side to claw back as they keep possession and get numbers back.

“It was vitally important that we started well and we did that with those two or three early scores and that helped settle us.

“We had to be patient at times, we couldn’t afford to go at them all the time. We learned that from the last two games against Roscommon and Derry when we were caught out on the counter attack and paid the price.

“We conceded six goals in our last two games and that is nowhere good enough at any level. We worked on that and managed to keep a clean sheet.

“The team that scores the most goals normally wins the game and we have to build on that and make ourselves a lot harder to beat going forward.”


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