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Derry a hot tip for cracking Croker double-header

By Declan Bogue

Derry can secure a Croke Park double-header by beating Tipperary in Saturday's All-Ireland Round 4A qualifier at Kingspan Breffni Park (5pm).

Damian McErlain's Oak Leaf minors will be playing Kerry in an All-Ireland quarter-final on July 31 and should Derry's seniors beat Tipp, they will play either Kerry or Galway as a double-header with their minors.

However, Derry coach and selector Brian McGuckin is maintaining the 'one day at a time' mantra.

"From the day Tyrone beat us, our focus was solely one game at a time. We're not looking at the quarter-final, we are looking at the next game. That's who we will be focusing on this week solely," he said.

"The draw (for Derry) was between Tipperary and Roscommon," he said.

"We will do our research in preparation for training.

"They have had a lot of success in under age, beat Cork and put up a good show against Kerry in the Munster final.

"They obviously are playing with a lot of confidence.

"We are in the same boat. In the aftermath of the performance in Celtic Park we have re-grouped and put together a few performances of our own," he said.

"We are in a good place as well and it is a game that both teams will be looking forward to."

On that 3-14 to 0-12 loss to Tyrone in the Championship opener, McGuckin said: "Collectively we were all devastated because everything we had all planned and prepared for on the day just didn't happen and it looked as if we had gathered a crew of boys in the Brandywell and threw them out onto the pitch."

However, the backdoor has been kind to them.

Home draws helped in wins over Louth and Meath, and they had a character-forming victory over Cavan in Breffni Park last Saturday.

They go back to the Cavan venue this Saturday with the Sky TV cameras in town, McGuckin accepting that familiarity with the ground is an advantage after beating Cavan there in League and Championship.

"It's a pitch we enjoy going to, we have had a certain amount of success on it," he said.

"Is it an advantage? Yes, I would say so.

"We will take any advantage going at this stage."

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