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Joe Kernan: I’m relishing my first crack at Tyrone as Galway boss

When I was in charge of Armagh I engaged in many high-pressure managerial battles with Tyrone boss Mickey Harte and our paths will cross once again on Sunday when he brings his side to Salthill to face my Galway outfit in a vital National League Division One tie.

I had been hopeful that we might be going into this particular game in a rather more healthy position in the league table but recent circumstances have thrust us into a relegation dog-fight. Like us, Tyrone have just one win to their credit in four outings so both teams will be particularly hungry for the points.

Just as the Red Hands have endured injury heartache in recent months when players like the Cavanagh brothers, Sean and Colm, Ryan Mellon, Philip Jordan and Brian Dooher were all unavailable, we in Galway are now coming to terms with the fact that no fewer than 10 players are unavailable because of injury.

That’s a huge chunk of talent out of any panel and is a grave cause for concern but there is little we can do except try and make the best of it.

It’s particularly frustrating that we will be without two of the best forwards in the country, Seanie Armstrong and Michael Meehan, for Sunday’s game as we certainly could be doing with their combined finishing skills. After playing Tyrone, we then must take on Dublin (away) and Derry (home) so it can be clearly seen that collecting the points we require to guarantee our safety will not be easy.

Tyrone will obviously take heart from their win over Cork and it will take a huge effort on the part of my lads if we are to come out on top in this one.

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