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Down manager James McCartan credits working sweeper system after Ulster SFC win over Derry

Updated: Sunday, 02 Jun 2013 17:45 | Comments

James McCartan: 'If we played Donegal ten times they would probably win nine. And maybe I'm being generous to ourselves'
James McCartan: 'If we played Donegal ten times they would probably win nine. And maybe I'm being generous to ourselves'

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Down manager James McCartan praised his team’s character following their comeback win over Derry.

McCartan credited some tweaking of their systems, and the great heart showed by his charges to come from five points down to win by five, as the main factors in their 2-17 to 1-15 Ulster Football Championship quarter-final win.

“Well obviously the second-half was all very positive, in contrast to the first-half. For the second period of the first-half we were beaten out the gate,” he told RTÉ Sport.

“We were very porous and letting Derry score for fun and we tried to correct that at half-time. The fact that we kept them to five points in the second-half gave us a chance of victory.

“We were not implementing the sweeper system the way we wanted to so we tried to tweak it and see how we would get on and, thank goodness, the balls dried up.

“We were four points down at the break and then they scored the first in the second so we were five down. To then win by five is a ten-point turnaround which shows a bit of character which is great.”

"We were very porous and letting Derry score for fun and we tried to correct that at half-time" - James McCartan

The two-time All-Ireland winner is now turning his thoughts towards a semi-final meeting with Donegal on 23 June.

“Donegal don’t need me to build them up. It’s the All-Ireland Champions going in against what people might consider a dangerous enough side on their day. If we can get it right than we can maybe mount a challenge.

“If we played Donegal ten times they would probably win nine. And maybe I’m being generous to ourselves,” he added.

Highlights and analysis of all the weekend’s action on The Sunday Game from 21:30 on Sunday 2 June on RTÉ Two and RTÉ.ie (Ireland only).

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