"We will take that one with a whole drum of salt" - Mickey Harte calls out Martin McHugh's Donegal assesment 2 months ago

"We will take that one with a whole drum of salt" - Mickey Harte calls out Martin McHugh's Donegal assesment

"He's just setting Tyrone up for next week"

Mickey Harte was in fantastic and fiery form yesterday, working as a pundit for the BBC's coverage of the Derry v Donegal championship game.

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Many didn't expect him to be as confrontational as he is, perhaps viewing him only as the calm and calculated character, we were used to seeing on the sideline, managing Tyrone.

However, he was quick to call out Oisin McConville and warned him about "minding his language" when he described Derry as "defensive" and even the more seasoned and experienced pundit, Martin McHugh, wasn't safe from the three-time All-Ireland winner.

Speaking before throw-in, the former Donegal player and father to current star, Ryan McHugh, gave his opinion on Declan Bonner's side.

"We look at Donegal, and we go back to last year's Ulster final.

"I think Donegal are a bit like Cork footballers and Galway hurlers - when you most expect them and want them to deliver, they let you down.

"Are they soft centred, mentally weak or whatever? But that's the disappointing thing.

"Where as the likes of Tyrone, will always win matches we expect them to win, and that's not just because Mickey is here beside me.

"This is a good test for Donegal here today, and we will know more about both teams this evening, and where both teams are going."

Harte had heard just about enough at this stage, and despite McHugh being complimentary of him, he picked up on a certain intent behind this statement.

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"Martin is a step ahead already, he's just setting Tyrone up for next week, he wants to pretend that Donegal aren't as good as they really are.

"He wants to suggest they're soft centred - I have been coming here a lot in the last 20 years, and I haven't seen much soft centred-ness about them.

"I think we will take that one with a whole drum of salt."

Mark Sidebottom, offered McHugh some advice going forward, when working alongside the Errigal Ciarán man.

"Martin did you not get the memo? No cosying up to Mickey Harte."