Derry unlikely to drastically alter approach says McEvoy

By Shaun Casey

DERRY defender Eoin McEvoy insists Mickey Harte’s team won’t dramatically change their approach to Odhran Lynch’s sweeper keeper role despite being caught out three times against Donegal last month.

Jim McGuinness’ side took full advantage of Lynch when he pressed up on Shaun Patton’s kickouts, with Daire O’Baoill (twice) and Jamie Brennan both raising green flags with the Magherafelt man off his line.

While that defeat saw Derry surrender their Ulster crown, McEvoy was quick to point out that it was that same approach that won Derry the Division One league title this season, their first since 2008.

“We’d done very well in the league with our kick-outs and opposition kick-outs with the press we have. We did very well in the league final,” said McEvoy, the Player of the Month for March.

“Whatever happened on the day happened. It’s probably not the be all and end all, but it’s just a flaw in the system and we have that time to regroup. Thankfully it happened in April, not in July.

“To be honest, it hasn’t really been mentioned that much (changing approach). The past three years, Odhran has been doing it and he’s my club mate, he’s been doing it with the club and he’s been doing it at a very high level.

“There is a lot of risk, but it’s risk-reward. Maybe it’s once or twice a game or maybe you just keep doing the same, but I suppose you probably need to be asking Mickey or ‘Horse’ (Gavin Devlin) that question.”

While Derry’s provincial ambitions were dashed at the first hurdle, McEvoy still feels that the Oak Leaf County can give the All-Ireland a real rattle. “That’s probably the goal at the start of the year, but from January we’ve played 12 games in 13 weeks with the McKenna Cup and the league.

“Now we have a wee bit of time off, but to be honest, you’d rather be sitting in an Ulster final.

“That probably gives a wee bit of a bite of how privileged or how good we were in the past couple of years, so now it’s just head down, get back to work and try and get to the level where we were at and that’s just the goal now.”

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