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Belief high in Antrim, says Patrick McBride

By Declan Bogue

Antrim defender Patrick McBride believes the letter the panel signed registering their disgust over the original Matthew Fitzpatrick suspension was a sign of their new-found togetherness.

"The letter, I don't even know if it united us, it was just something I think we felt we had to do. The morale of the team, I would say it is as close as any team we have had, especially with all the young boys here now," he explained.

"There is a good morale, and after the league performances it feels good.

"It seems as if we are always up against it when it comes to what people maybe say about the team."

The Saffrons are travelling to face Donegal in Ballybofey tomorrow knowing they haven't been given much of a chance.

"As soon as you say to people that we are playing Donegal, they say, 'ah, unlucky'," he said.

"You sort of feel up against it in terms of having to prove people wrong."

Although Antrim were relegated from Division Three, McBride believes that they have gained confidence from the year at a higher level.

"Because you are playing Donegal, one of the things you would be talking about in training is belief," he added. "If you go out and one of the 15 or 20 people does not believe you can win, then you are more or less beaten already."

Meanwhile, Fitzpatrick has been included in the starting Saffrons team to face Donegal tomorrow.

His involvement had been a source of doubt all week, but joint-managers Frankie Fitzsimons and Gearoid Adams have named him at centre-forward.

Tomas McCann is also in the corner, while Mark Sweeney is set to take up a sweeper role with the St Jude's man named at wing-forward.

ANTRIM (v Donegal, USFC): C Kerr; C Hamill, P Gallagher, P Healy; P McBride, D Lynch, P McAleer; S McVeigh, S Beatty; R McCann, M Fitzpatrick, M Sweeney; CJ McGourty, B Radley, T McCann

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