Former Tyrone coach believes that Red Hands will thrive with their 'backs against the wall' 2 weeks ago

Former Tyrone coach believes that Red Hands will thrive with their 'backs against the wall'

"We lost one title on Sunday (Ulster) but we still have a firm hold of the other one."

Tyrone were handed a heavy defeat by Derry in the ulster championship last Sunday, meaning that they have lost their grip on the Anglo Celt Cup.

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After a patchy league season, where the defending champions got off to a rough start, they seemed to iron out the problems with wins against Mayo, Kerry and then Fermanagh in the championship.

The Oakleaf county shown however that all is not rosey in the Tyrone camp, but a former coach believes they still have what it takes to make this year a success.

Gavin Devlin was the assistant coach under Mickey Harte for several years, and currently fulfils that role in Louth.

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The Ardboe man told the Gaelic Life that Tyrone are not finished yet.

“We have five weeks to get it right. We lost one title on Sunday (Ulster) but we still have a firm hold of the other one.

“We know these boys and we have been saying it year in, year out. They are at their best when they have an axe to grind, when their backs are up against the wall and it’s firmly against it now.

“Tyrone haven’t become a bad team overnight but its getting that axe to grind to get them up for the next game and if that defeat doesn’t do it then nothing will.”

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“Tyrone weren’t at their best, not by a long shot, but it’s a game of fine margins. The sending off of big Brian (Kennedy) came at a really bad time as it really killed the game especially with a penalty coming a couple of minutes later.

“Those were two key moments and it really changed the whole complexion of the game. Although Tyrone were miles off where they would have wanted to be on the day I still think that Kennedy’s sending off was a big moment in the game.

"“You can talk all day about the tactics that the two teams employed but I think that the actual desire and the principles that you need to play in any championship game, Tyrone were void of them for long periods.You have to bring that energy, that drive, you have to block the opponents’ runs.”

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