"Just because you concede four goals, doesn't mean you rip up the script" - A message for Donegal, Tyrone and Galway 2 months ago

"Just because you concede four goals, doesn't mean you rip up the script" - A message for Donegal, Tyrone and Galway

"You've got to stick to the tactics you have."

Donegal, Tyrone and Galway have been on the wrong side of some high scoring games in recent months.

Advertisement

The usually formidable and airtight defence of these teams seems leaky, disjointed and unsure of themselves at times.

However, does that mean you just scrap the plan and go back to playing defensive football?

Speaking on the GAA Hour, Colm Parkinson believes that these teams are allowing these bad results affect them and change the way they are playing.

"I can see Donegal going back to a more cagey game this weekend against Down, I can see them not blowing away Down like they should be really doing.

"They're a bottom division two level team, they should be blowing Down away and I don't think they will blow Down away.

"If you look at Kerry, they conceded the four goals against Dublin; Kerry didn't rip up the script. Kerry are sticking to what they think they're good at.

Advertisement

"For example, Tadhg Morley allowed Con to double back along the end-line. I'm sure Kerry worked on that in the video sessions, and said 'Look Tadhg, you have to stay goal side of your man,' like we spoke about on the show.

"Stay goal side of him, that can't happen again. The other goal against Dublin, from a big long ball from Scully, how was Paul Murphy left one-on-one with Con O'Callaghan, who's brilliant in the air, how did that happen? 'Well I swapped man with him'. 'Well why didn't you ask a midfielder to come back and help you when you found yourself in there'?

"You know, there's all these things that can get ironed out, and you won't iron them out unless you make those mistakes for the championship. Maybe I'm a bit blue in the face saying it or I'm overdoing it, but just because you concede four goals, doesn't mean you rip up the script.

"You just coach the players to get better and not concede those types of goals. You might concede another one but then you iron that out and then you get to a stage, maybe in year two, year three, where very few goals are going to come against you that you haven't discussed.

Advertisement
11 July 2004; Brendan Devenney, Donegal. Bank of Ireland Ulster Senior Football Championship Final, Armagh v Donegal, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit; Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE

"I think Donegal has changed since they conceded the four goals against Monaghan and Bonner has commented on it a few times."

Former Donegal legend, Brendan Devenney was also on the show, but thinks there might be other variables to be considered as to why Donegal could be playing differently.

"I think Donegal are basically playing the same a lot of the time. I think when you see a game opening up there is that speed into attack which seems to be opening up, maybe the opposite end of the pitch sometimes, and that's what we're seeing.

Advertisement

"We're also seeing a huge elevation of points scoring, there's such a high percentage of scores going over now, free-kicks converted etc, but Donegal are playing the same way, by and large.

"I think after Monaghan, Donegal conceded one goal against Armagh, and didn't concede a lot of goal chances, but Donegal are such a good team. I don't want to go back to the Michael Murphy scenario but so much changes when he's in the middle of that pitch and conducting things for Donegal.

"Just in different moments, he just seems to calm, or set up, or do something for Donegal and I think that's actually been a part in it. Against Dublin they were missing so many players and they did revert into a negative game, but they wanted to avoid the spanking that Tyrone got.

"They just wanted to get through the game and that was only two weeks ago, going into this one I don't read into it too much, but you're right, you've got to stick to the tactics you have."

Advertisement

You can listen to the full discussion on the GAA Hour now.