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Ryan McMenamin: Tyrone can be a match for Mayo

Updated: Friday, 23 Aug 2013 13:44 | Comments

Tyrone are bidding to reach their first All-Ireland final since 2008
Tyrone are bidding to reach their first All-Ireland final since 2008

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Former Tyrone player Ryan McMenamin reckons the county are capable of upsetting Mayo in Sunday’s All-Ireland SFC semi-final at Croke Park.

While agreeing that the Connacht champions are favourites to advance to the decider on 22 September, McMenamin feels that Tyrone’s journey through the back-door route will benefit them.

He told RTÉ Sport: "Mickey Harte has freshened up the team this year. A lot of the players involved were on the periphery of the squad. They have now got their chance and nothing beats competitive games.

"Throughout the summer the side have won tight matches and I have no doubt they have taken great heart from that. The character and the resolve in the present Tyrone squad is there to see.

"At the start of the year, many fans would have been happy with getting to an All-Ireland quarter-final, but the fact that we got to a league decider and could have won it and are now in the last four is testament to the work being put in."

"The character and the resolve in the present Tyrone squad is there to see" - Ryan McMenamin

Like all onlookers, McMenamin has been impressed by Mayo, but is confident the Tyrone management will have a plan in place to curb their effectiveness.

He explained: "Mayo have been great to watch all year. Yet sometimes when you win well, the weaknesses in the side tend to be overlooked.

"I’m sure Mickey will have analysed the videos and highlighted any chinks. If Tyrone can slow the game down and play it on their terms it will be interesting to see how it all impacts on the supply of ball to the Mayo forwards.

"Everyone is saying our lads will be no match for them, yet as many people were doubting us after we lost to Donegal.

"Tyrone may not have the flair players that were around four or five years ago, but they are still in this Championship and there is enough talent in this present squad to suggest they can live with Mayo.

"In the years we won All-Irelands a few top-notch performances have been delivered. I’m confident of another one on Sunday."

As to whether McMenamin would put money on Tyrone, he replied: “Of course I would. I've heard odds of 9-1 and that’s a great price.”

Team News: Mayo | Tyrone

Live television coverage of Mayo v Monaghan (minor) and Mayo v Tyrone (senior) from 13:15 on Sunday 25 August on RTÉ Two and RTÉ.ie (Ireland only). Live radio coverage of all the day’s action from 14:00 on RTÉ Radio 1, RTÉ RnaG and RTÉ.ie (Worldwide).

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