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Dublin: 16 °C Tuesday 23 April, 2019
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Donegal will have revenge in mind says two-time All-Star Kevin Cassidy

The former Donegal wing-back thinks controlling the inside forwards will be key to

Former Donegal All-Star, Kevin Cassidy was speaking at the launch of the Wild Atlantic Way charity cycle in aid of the Irish Heart Foundation.
Former Donegal All-Star, Kevin Cassidy was speaking at the launch of the Wild Atlantic Way charity cycle in aid of the Irish Heart Foundation.
Image: SPORTSFILE

THE ANGLO CELT Cup may be up for grabs today in Clones as Donegal and Monaghan contest back-to-back Ulster Senior Football finals today but, according to one former player at least, Donegal’s primary motivation will be revenge.

Kevin Cassidy hasn’t played with Donegal since 2011 but he does know what the inside of a Jim McGuinness dressing room is like and believes that Michael Murphy and company will use their six point reversal as extra motivation.

“It’s definitely a revenge mission for the lads who played in last year’s final,” Cassidy told TheScore.ie.

“Donegal will probably feel that they weren’t at their best and Monaghan took full advantage of that and they’ll want to reverse that this year.”

Both teams have put in less than stellar performances in the Ulster championship so far; Donegal playing well at times against Derry and Antrim while Monaghan needed two attempts to get past Armagh so Cassidy feels this is a game they both need to gauge how realistic their All-Ireland ambitions are.

“To be honest, it’s a test that both teams need because, for me, Monaghan – in the first game against Armagh – were very sluggish and lethargic. Donegal looked good in patches so far but you have to question the quality of the opposition.”

The reason for that lethargy is simple though.

“The way it’s gone in recent times, teams are tapering their training towards Ulster finals and the latter stages of the championship so it’s to be expected that we might not see the best of them in the earlier stages.

“I think that both teams were always going to be there or there abouts at the end of the year so it’s no surprise to see them in today’s game.”

According to the Gweedore clubman, the Farney’s main advantage going into today’s encounter is that they know how to beat Donegal while Jim McGuinness’ men will have to keep a close eye on Monaghan’s inside forward line to achieve success.

“Monaghan probably looked at Donegal and said we can achieve the same success as them and they’re one of the few teams who can match Donegal and know how to break them down.

“For Donegal, it’s how they control the two Monaghan inside forwards – Conor McManus and Kieran Hughes -that is key to where this game will be won or lost because the system they play relies on those two to win their own ball and create their own scoring chances.

“From what I’ve seen, Hughes is the best ball handler in the championship. He’s phenomenal, so strong but I think if Donegal can keep on top of him and McManus, they’ve a good chance.”

Former Donegal All-Star, Kevin Cassidy was speaking at the launch of the Wild Atlantic Way charity cycle in aid of the Irish Heart Foundation. The cycle will highlight the importance of the Irish pub to the Wild Atlantic Way as pubs will provide food and accommodation along the way. 

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Steve O'Rourke

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