/ GAA

Jim McGuinness: Lack of faith in Donegal justified

Updated: Monday, 01 Sep 2014 14:48 | Comments

Jim McGuinness celebrated a famous win at the final whistle
Jim McGuinness celebrated a famous win at the final whistle

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His team may have sent the bookmakers running for cover but Jim McGuinness reckoned the long odds on a Donegal win over Dublin in the All-Ireland semi-final were actually spot on. 

The Donegal manager turned away the opportunity to attack his team's critics after the victory over the 2013 champions. 

In certain parts of Donegal, punters were celebrating success on odds of 10/1 as Dublin were widely fancied to return to their third final in four seasons. 

Instead, Donegal turned the screw on Jim Gavin's side, building on their half-time lead with a third-quarter scoring blitz to record a victory for the ages at Croke Park. 

"I agreed with the odds to be honest with you," said McGuinness. 

"Every question that had been asked of Dublin coming into this, they answered. They showed in the first 15 or 20 minutes of the game the quality that they have. So no, there's no problem there with what was expected. 

"In terms of ourselves, we prepared for the match as best we could. We tried to get everything right for the 70 minutes and the players delivered. That's all we wanted and all we cared about." 

McGuinness felt his team took a big step towards an All-Ireland final clash with Kerry when they got to grips with Dublin's long-range point taking towards the end of the first half. 

They got on top in scoring terms with Ryan McHugh's first goal before half-time and led from there all the way until the final whistle against all expectation. 

"Phenomenal," said McGuinness of Ryan McHugh's display. "He's been excellent the whole year through. His decision-making is top, top drawer." 

Aside from McHugh, who kicked 2-02, Colm McFadden turned the corner on a patchy spell of form and contributed 1-03, while captain Michael Murphy gave another lion-hearted display all around the field. Clearly, they weren't intimidated by Dublin. 

Jim McGuinness


"You'd have to ask the players but I believe that every game is winnable if you get everything right and if you have the right attitude," said McGuinness. 

"Had we lost today by a point, I could have easily made peace with that. You just want them to give it everything and deliver the performance you know they can and they did that."  

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