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Harte and Gallagher face tough decisions ahead of Ulster replays

By John Campbell

Published 28/06/2016

Far from happy: Mickey Harte was disappointed with Tyrone’s defence
Far from happy: Mickey Harte was disappointed with Tyrone’s defence

Two managers with their sights firmly fixed on the Ulster Senior Football Championship title are confronted by major headaches as they prepare for this week-end's semi-final replays.

Tyrone boss Mickey Harte will bid to undertake remedial action to address what he felt was the "very disappointing" experience of conceding three goals to Cavan in the 3-7 to 0-16 draw, while Donegal supremo Rory Gallagher faces a mini-disciplinary crisis because of two red cards already incurred in the competition.

The Red Hands are known for their frugality in conceding goals and Harte was particularly annoyed when Cavan found a way through his rearguard almost at will. Now he wants the shutters to be erected for Sunday's replay.

"What was worrying was that we had conceded two goals before half-time," said Harte.

"That was very disappointing. Having said that, there were times when we thought we could have won but you always had the sense that it would go right down to the wire, which it did.

"We found it very tough to get a foothold and that is food for thought for this replay."

And as Harte continues to wrestle with the composition of his side, his Donegal counterpart Gallagher is mulling over the probability that he will be without two of his first-choice players for disciplinary reasons when his side once again face Monaghan at Kingspan Breffni Park, Cavan on Saturday night after last weekend's 1-11 to 0-14 draw.

Neil McGee was served with a two-match ban following his red card against Fermanagh in the Ulster quarter-final when he struck out at Ruairi Corrigan, while Martin McElhinney also incurred the ultimate sanction against Monaghan following a tussle with Drew Wylie.

McGee and McElhinney, who both boast considerable experience, provide a robust combative edge within the Donegal side, something that manager Gallagher hopes to see maintained in their absence.

"We were under serious pressure in the drawn game because Monaghan are a great battling side and they will be the same again," observed Gallagher.

"While it was disappointing that we missed chances, I don't think Michael Murphy and Patrick McBrearty will have too many days like that. I still think the team showed great character and we will be looking for more of the same this weekend. You certainly can never write off this Monaghan side."

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