"We've had a great reaction in training" - Niall Morgan reveals how Tyrone have responded to Derry defeat 1 week ago

"We've had a great reaction in training" - Niall Morgan reveals how Tyrone have responded to Derry defeat

"Everyone is putting their shoulder to the wheel."

Niall Morgan has been pivotal to pretty much everything that's been good about Tyrone in recent years.

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Not only did his shot stopping between the sticks save his county from championship exits on several occasions last season, his sweeping and ability outfield also helped his team.

Not to mention kicking a few scores as well, Morgan helped Tyrone reach the promise land and win the All-Ireland title in 2021.

Now, to only add further to his accolades, the Edendork man has just won the GAA Writers Association Personality of the Year award.

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With an All-Star already in his pocket, the keeper sweeper won't have any more room in his house for trinkets and trophies.

However, despite all of their success last season, Tyrone have struggled in the league this year, and just a few weeks ago suffered a shock loss to a very driven and talented Derry side.

"After we won last year we obviously didn't take anybody for granted, but you sort of get that taste of success and you think it's going to happen again.

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"I suppose a bit like before that, whenever we weren't winning you sort of think are we going to have another year like that.

"Derry had a game-plan for us, they've been working on the same game-plan the whole way through the year and it worked for them. It wasn't a surprise to us how they played, we knew how they were going to play, we just couldn't counteract it on the day.

"Unfortunately sometimes you have to admit that the better team won and we'll have to work to figure out ways to play against that because there are going to be other teams who will play a similar way against us as well so it's up to us to put our heads together and figure out where we're going wrong and how we're going to fix it. 

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"I know the narrative among some journalists last year was that we won by fluke. We don't believe that. Personally I don't believe in luck at all, I believe you get what you deserve and you get what you work for."

So with this lesson harshly learnt, and the Red Hands sent into the qualifiers, Morgan reveals how the All-Ireland champions can bounce back.

"Going back to Derry, they worked hard and deserved their win and there was no luck involved and we would say the same about last year. That we worked hard and we got the rewards for what we done.

"We're just going to have to work a bit harder in terms of our training and in terms of our application and what we're doing skills wise.

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"We need to return a wee bit to the basics and get them sorted because our kick-passing and fist-passing and shot-selection has been what's letting us down this year. if you return to looking after that side of things you're going to reap the rewards of it."

At the end of the 2021 league campaign, Tyrone were handed an awful hammering by Kerry in Killarney, that seemingly ruled them ut as contenders for the rest of the season.

However they used that defeat to help catapult their year, and went on an unbelievable run, where they showed both great confidence and humility.

"Last year we had frank discussions after the Kerry game about what our aims were for the year. There's no point going out and training if you're just going for the sake of it. We got together and worked out where we wanted to go next and we've done the same after the Derry game. 

"While it might not just work the same way because we had a bit of a surprise factor coming off that loss against Kerry last year whereas now we still have the target on our back and everyone wants to take us out because we're reigning champions. 

"I know we're out of Ulster now, Derry have that accolade going into their semi-final this weekend. Whoever comes up against us in the All-Ireland series will be looking to do the same."

With the Anglo-Celt trophy already conceded, Tyrone need to shape up if they have any hope of retaining the Sam Maguire, but Morgan believes that they have responded in the right way.

"We've had a great reaction in training. In years gone by after a defeat you see some boys almost, not ducking out of training, but maybe not being as positive going forward.

"But the reaction has been great by the crop that we have and by the management. Everybody is looking forward to our next match, getting back on the pitch and trying to right the wrongs. 

"There's no guarantee that it will definitely happen, but everyone is putting their shoulder to the wheel. And if there's one thing you can dictate it's how hard you work.

"Against Derry we didn't work hard enough, we were outworked all over the pitch and that's why they got their victory.

"That's an easy one for us to set straight, by going out and trying our best and working hard. If that's not good enough on the day, so be it."