Tuesday 7 February 2023 Dublin: 7°C
INPHO/Cathal Noonan
# Northern Exposure
Eamon McGee: Eyes on the prize despite Donegal hype
The All-Ireland champions face Monaghan in the Ulster decider this weekend.

DONEGAL GO INTO Sunday’s Ulster final with most within the county and beyond chalking this one down as just another step along the road to September.

The All-Ireland champions go into the provincial decider with Monaghan as 1/7 favourites.

And the Gweedore clubman Eamon McGee admits a touch of complacency may have rolled into the hills before the close-run semi-final with Down last time out.

“When you go do down to the shop and the boys are saying it is just another Ulster final, it is just another day out, you will beat them no bother and you hearing this ‘ah, you will have no bother with them’ and that was against a Down team that were in the All-Ireland final not that long ago, it is hard to totally block that out. A  wee bit is going to seep through. I thought it was very disrespectful to Down but it also shows where we are  at, we have progressed so far that it is just taken for granted that we are going to win,” he says.

But Jim McGuinness — a man employed by Celtic for his expertise in sports science — did not have to speak to the panel about the changed mood in Donegal.

“I don’t really think so,” says McGee. “At the end of the day it is how we come into training. If we come up to training and maybe we were not going 100% because we were against such and such opposition, then maybe then he will have to step in but if he sees us doing it on the training field , giving our all he has no need to and we have no need to be pulling up any of the boys as to why they are not doing their sprints 100%.

“If we are doing it and everything is going well in the circle then we can’t affect anything else and we have nothing to be worried about anything.”

Now the focus turns to Sunday afternoon and what McGee hopes will be a third Ulster title on the trot. But first a dangerous Farney side.

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“Monaghan would be a dangerous animal anyway,” he adds. “We know the players. I played Sigerson with Paul Finlay in Sligo and I know the quality of player that he is; you have Conor McManus – you could just rhyme them off really and the two Hughes.

“We know that they are going to be a dangerous, they are going to be hungry, they are going to bring a physicality to it and we have to match that and come out on top. We have to take our bit of football to the table and it is a massive proposition. They are going to bring a massive intensity level to the game so hopefully we can match it.”

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