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Monaghan v Tyrone: McMahon has class to make major impact

By Micheal McGeary

Justin McMahon will again be a central figure in Tyrone’s defensive formation for tomorrow’s Ulster football decider against Monaghan.

From making his senior debut in 2007 the Omagh St. Enda’s clubman has rarely put a foot wrong.

Two seasons ago when Mickey Harte’s men captured a third All Ireland McMahon was a resolute and commanding figure at full back.

It came as no real surprise when he was honoured with an All Star award that same year.

McMahon is one of those players with the knack of being in the right place at the right time and an individual who inspires confidence in those around him.

His views on the respective merits of the backdoor system run remarkably close to those of manager Mickey Harte.

“When you look at the qualifiers it’s a very difficult route to go when you look at some of the sides that are left so winning an Ulster final appears to be the best option,” said McMahon. “Both sides have their own motivation and avoiding the qualifiers is certainly one of them.”

No team it seems wants to be regarded as favourites with McMahon insisting it’s Monaghan who will carry that unwanted label.

He added: “Against Armagh they played some great football and against Fermanagh their quality again came shining through, especially up front.

“It shows they are a formidable force and three seasons ago when they played us they were unfortunate to lose out.”

There’s no danger of McMahon or any of his colleagues taking success for granted.

He maintains the appetite for more honours is as keen as ever.

“Talk to any player and you will quickly appreciate the desire to be successful and to get your hands on more medals and trophies,” he said.

“There’s no doubt though we must raise our game to a new level if we’re not to come away from Clones empty handed.

“We haven’t been terribly impressive in our two matches so far and against Down our greater experience more than anything else enabled us to get over the line and no more.”

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