By Michael McMullan
DONEGAL are not as impressive as their victory over Kerry or as bad their defeat Tyrone have suggested, but somewhere in the middle.
That’s the view of Derry All-Star forward Paddy Bradley, who is a coach and selector under new Donegal manager Paddy Carr.
Donegal head to Clones on Sunday aiming to get back to winning ways against a Farney side yet to secure a point under new manager Venney Corey.
Bradley is happy with the application of the squad after their double scores defeat in Omagh and hopes the learnings will improve their collective in a very difficult Division One environment.
“Against both Kerry and Tyrone we gave the ball away cheaply in the first half. Kerry didn’t punish us maybe the way Tyrone did,” Bradley said, referring to how Donegal rattled off a series of scores before half-time against Kerry that didn’t materialise against the Red Hands.
“There was a lack of intensity and you have some days like that,” Bradley admitted. “We are not as good as people were making out we were against Kerry. We were no world-beaters that day. There were a lot of things we still did wrong.
“Nor were we as bad as we were last week against Tyrone where mistakes and things happened that generally wouldn’t happen on most days.
“It’s a mixed bag, we were somewhere in between and searching for a bit of consistency.”
Donegal have been without established players such as Eoghan Bán Gallagher, Michael Langan, Ciaran Thompson and Ryan McHugh through injury.
While Sunday might come too soon for a return to action, Bradley feels they’ll be back as the league progresses.
“It’s hard to gather momentum and that’s what every team is looking for…momentum. We are no different to any other county, until we have our more experienced and marquee players back it will be an uphill struggle and it is a very unforgiving league,” he pointed out.
“As results have shown so far, anybody is capable of beating anybody else on their day.”
Bradley, who previously coached Antrim during his father Liam’s tenure as senior manager, has been full of praise for the efforts of the Donegal squad, highlighting how well debutants Mark Curran, Caolan McColgan and Johnny McGrotty have “cut their teeth” in the top flight.
“There have been positives over the last two games. We know we have a raft of good men to come in too, which we want to get back sooner rather than later,” Bradley added.
“We had good intentions of getting four points after the first two games,” he said, while stressing the importance of Sunday’s encounter.
“It is not all doom and gloom, things are somewhere in the middle. We know we have work to do but we know we are not as bad as we were last week. We are trying to build towards Monaghan in Clones and getting two more points.”