Belfast Telegraph

Friday 11 July 2014

What does the future hold now for Donegal manager Jim McGuinness?

Donegal selector Rory Gallagher and manager Jim McGuinness during the  game against Mayo
Donegal selector Rory Gallagher and manager Jim McGuinness during the game against Mayo

Huge speculation surrounds the future of Jim McGuinness after Donegal’s humiliating defeat by Mayo.

McGuinness remained guarded about his future after the game, stressing that he would take a couple of weeks to decide if he will see out the final year of a four-year agreement which he struck with the Donegal County Board in 2010.

When asked by reporters afterwards, McGuinness said he would systematically review the season as usual and then make a decision about his future, probably within the next two to three weeks.

McGuinness, who along with his assistant Rory Gallagher had engaged in withering verbal jousts in the build-up to the game, did not cling to excuses in his darkest hour since taking command of the north-west side.

“Mayo showed great hunger and desire, they had faith in their manager and in their game plan and they produced a very impressive performance,” declared McGuinness.

Nor could he provide any instant answers to his team’s stunning topple from their champions’ perch.

“It’s something we will have to work out over the course of the next two or three weeks,” said McGuinness.

“The best thing for us to do is to acknowledge what Mayo brought to the table.

“This was their day and we have to accept that.”

And he admitted that Donegal have not been “at themselves” all year.

“We haven’t been able to get traction all year, we have had an awful lot of niggly injuries which meant that we had key players out and we have not been able to build momentum,” pointed out McGuinness.

“It’s the flattest we have ever been, we weren’t competitive as we normally are and should be.

“There were a lot of gaps and we did not have energy when we were on the ball to allow us to get up the filed.

“When you are not able to execute this you are not going to be at the level.”

And as he prepares to undertake an intense study of a season that has delivered precisely nothing for his team, McGuinness is certainly giving nothing away in relation to his own future.

“We will sit down and undertake an appraisal process of the whole season and at the end of that process we will have a better idea of where we went wrong.

“I knew all along that instead of managing a team we have been managing a situation in relation to injuries in particular.

“Any decisions of any nature will only be made after the appraisal has been completed,” added McGuinness.

For his part Mayo manager James Horan lavished praise on the Sam Maguire Cup holders.

Horan said: “Donegal have been proud All-Ireland champions. They were very gracious last year when they beat us in the All-Ireland final and they were equally gracious when losing this time.”

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