Kevin Cassidy

KEVIN CASSIDY: Donegal must stick together

WITH the news of Paddy Carr’s resignation as Donegal manager, we need to pull together even more.

There has been a lot of stuff thrown about recently and I don’t think that’s it helped the management or players so it’s now time to draw a line under this and move on for the good of Donegal football.

I would like to say that I feel sorry for Paddy as he is a gentleman and as his heart was in the right place. He put his hand up when many others wouldn’t so it’s sad to see it end like this for him.

After last Sunday’s game, I think it’s fair to say that Donegal will now play in Division Two next year and although I do think they could have gotten more from some games, I don’t think they can have any excuses as they depart Division One at the end of this campaign.

I have seen them quite a few times this season. To be honest, they held their own with most teams but on Sunday, and after seeing Mayo up close and personal, it really was a case of men against boys.

That comment is in no way a dig at players or management, because we just have to be realistic in terms of where we are at in our development. When you compare that to a Mayo team who are probably at their peak, then it’s easy to see how the gap could be so large.

I say this with some certainty, after seeing Mayo live last weekend, this current crop of Mayo players remind me of Dublin in their pomp with their athleticism, strength and pace all over the pitch.

I understand it is early days and there are some other teams turning in impressive displays, but take it from me; Mayo will take some beating this season.

From a Donegal point of view, all was not lost after Sunday. I still think that we will have a sting in our tails come the championship – although we don’t know who will be in charge. It’s important that players and supporters remain committed to the cause and nobody should down tools and or look for the easy way out.

All this talk of the academy and people snipping has to stop, as we must allow these young lads every opportunity to develop at the pace that it’s going to take.

Even Jim McGuinness coming out last week and saying that the county board never came back to him for the manager’s job knowing fine well that with Paddy Carr in as manager, it added more pressure.

Surly Jim is smart enough to know that this kind of rubbish in the media only heaped more pressure on the current management and players so therefore all that carry on needs to stop?

Whatever happens with the whole senior management and academy situation, we must now move on and try and learn from it and try to build Donegal football up again.

This won’t happen today, tomorrow or next year. It will take some time so we, as a county, would be far better off pulling together rather than trying to pull each other apart.

We knew this anyway, but the league is getting more competitive with each passing year and yet again this season, everything is still on the line as we head into the final day of fixtures.

Most teams still won’t know their fate until after the final whistle blows on Sunday. I’m sure there will be some calculators called upon to figure out who heads for the league final and, probably more importantly, who heads for the drop.

Outside of our own county, there are others who seem to be struggling a little bit and I’m sure they are beginning to panic now wondering if they will have things back on track come summer.

The one currently that comes to mind first in relation to that statement is Armagh.

If you were to ask me at the start of the season to pick a team who I thought could make the breakthrough, Armagh would have been the team that I would have picked.

Having watched them play to date, and particularly the style of play and their tactics, we are now unsure of where they stand in the pecking order so the next few weeks is crucial for them.

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