Oak Leafs needs to stay on their game: Harte

By Michael McMullan

DERRY need to be on their game against Galway on Sunday insists manager Mickey Harte, who also says the camp are not getting carried away with their series of wins.

Saturday’s 3-17 to 0-13 win over a Monaghan team missing a host of regulars was Derry’s seventh win in as many outings since Harte came on board as manager.

Padraic Joyce and selector John Divilly were in Celtic Park to run their eyes over the Oakleafers on the eve of their victory over Tyrone.

“It’s one game at a time, that’s what it is,” Harte said after Derry’s win over the Farney County.

“We have another game next week and we need to be on our game again. Winning is a good habit and the longer you stay in that good habit the better things get for you.”

Derry sit on six points after their three wins, a tally that has been enough to secure top flight status since 2016.

Kerry’s five-point win over Cork on the final day saw the Rebels relegated on score difference after a four way tie on six points with Donegal, Mayo and Monaghan.

“We still have to try and pick up as many points as we can. You still can’t say six points leaves you safe so when you are in a place where you can’t say it leaves you safe then you have to look for more points.”

If Derry are to maintain their winning run and cement their place in the top flight, they’ll have to end an eight-game losing sequence against the Tribesmen.

Goals from Declan Mullan and Sean Leo McGoldrick helped secure Derry’s last win in 2010 at Pearse Stadium when Joe Kernan was in charge of Galway.

Of their last 10 meetings in league and championship, Derry have only won twice – 2009 and 2010. They’ve failed to keep a clean sheet, conceding an average of two goals per game.

It’s Derry’s first season in the top flight since 2015 and three wins in as many games has helped maintain the positivity within the county.

The progress has also led to the Oakleafers being labelled as the country’s form team in many quarters.

“Look it is only early days yet and we can’t get carried away by anything,” Harte stated. “It is three (league) games and three wins and that is brilliant but there are tougher things ahead, we know that.

“There is good stuff (Dublin) coming up here again in a couple of weeks’ time, we have to go to Galway next week.

“We have Mayo to play, you have Roscommon to play; these are all tough games and you can never take your eye off the ball.”

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