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Derry's Emmett McGuckin will shoulder blame for his dismissal in Tyrone game

By Declan Bogue

Published 12/01/2016

Off: Derry’s Emmett McGuckin picked up two yellow cards
Off: Derry’s Emmett McGuckin picked up two yellow cards

Derry attacker Emmett McGuckin has blamed himself for the two yellow cards that led to his dismissal in their defeat to Tyrone on Sunday.

The Magherafelt man was booked following a wrestling match with Pádraig Hampsey on 33 minutes, and received the same sanction for a repeat offence against Cathal McCarron seven minutes into the second-half.

"I thought it was harsh, especially with the circumstances of how it happened," he said.

"There is not much you can do about it, you just have to get on with it and make sure it doesn't happen again.

"From my own point of view, the first yellow card... again, it was nothing really but the referee is the man in charge and it's up to him to make these decisions."

Asked if he is frustrated by the tendency to award yellow cards to both players in the event of any off-the-ball scuffle, he answered: "That seems to be the case, yes. I had my hands out as I fell but if the referee makes the decision then he makes the decision, you have to get on with it.

"I put the team under a bit of pressure because we went down to 14 men but I think, overall, we did play some good football.

"If we had kept 15 on the field, if I'd stayed on, we'll never know what the result would have been."

Derry go into their final Group A clash tomorrow night at Owenbeg (throw-in 8pm) against the students of Queen's. Already on two points, they appear to be the team that will finish as strongest runner-up on scoring average.

If things go to plan, they could end up playing Cavan in this weekend's semi-finals, bolstered by the belief that they have produced two solid performances to date.

However, McGuckin feels the form has to translate into victories.

"Performances, yes, but you always want to win. It is far better being in a winning changing room than a losing changing room. Some of the football we have played has been good but there is loads of room for improvement yet," he pointed out.

Now in his sixth season as part of the squad, he has played under John Brennan and Brian McIver and has a special word of praise for the current incumbent, Damian Barton, who was a passionate, and somewhat animated figure on the touchline on Sunday.

"Every manager brings his own approach and the management at the minute are excellent. They are straight talking men and are trying to put their own spin on Derry football. All you can do is get behind them and that exactly what everyone is doing," he said.

McGuckin has been handed starts in the two games so far, and is thankful for the early opportunity to show what he can do.

"It is early days and you have to be thankful after the first two games to be in the full forward line. It is up to me to try and work hard and keep that position.

"Whether I am picked for the next day or not, is up to Damian, Brian (McGuckin, coach) and Tony (Scullion, selector) and the boys, but I will keep working hard and trying my best to get a steady position in the team."

Belfast Telegraph

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