Tyrone camogs guarding against complacency

By Michael McMullan

TYRONE manager Paul O’Grady insists his side must guard against complacency ahead of Saturday’s league semi-final against Louth.

It comes after the Red Hand County’s facile 5-19 to 0-3 win over the same opponents in their final group game.

O’Grady, who also manages the Omagh hurlers, reflects on their game in Louth being played in inclement conditions with a wind that enabled Tyrone build up a healthy lead.

“We had the wind in the first half which is good for getting scores on a team,” he said.

“When they come up here and we are playing that game in Killyclogher. You could get a good day and a completely different Louth team.

“I have told the girls already not to be getting complacent about it, you could get a completely different team.”

O’Grady, a Mayo native who has managed Sligo u-20 hurlers in the past, is full of praise for the Tyrone squad.

They have a down to earth attitude, focusing just on the next game and never getting too carried away with their comfortable wins.

Their second game of the league was a 4-11 to 2-11 victory over Wicklow that told them more about themselves after a comfortable win over his native Mayo.

“Wicklow showed us quite a lot about the team,” he said. “Louth was about seeing more players again, which is good.

“We have Louth this weekend again so that is going to be another tell-tale sign if Louth can bring more to it or whether we can push on more.”

The Wicklow challenge was a “tell-tale” game against a more experienced team in terms of inter-county games under their belt. On the other hand, Tyrone have more players coming onto the scene.

“We did very well in the first half of that match,” he said. “We just switched off and we didn’t do that against Louth. We were happy about that as we were able to get the full 60 or 50 minutes out of them without switching off for a period.

“We were ahead against Wicklow and switched off. Going forward, we are going to have to close it out until it is finished.”

The long-term focus for Tyrone is the All-Ireland Championship at the end of May. Before that, Tyrone have an Ulster final against Down.

Should they repeat their win over Louth this weekend, the league decider is down for decision in mid-April. Then it’s time to ramp up the preparations.

“We’ll have a good few challenge games against teams in higher leagues than us,” O’Grady said.

“We are trying to get pressure into the players with games where they are really going to have to push.”

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