No problem with Cavanagh, says Tyrone boss Harte
Mickey Harte’s controversial decision not to start Sean Cavanagh in last season’s All Ireland semi-final prompted all kinds of conspiracy theories.
But at yesterday’s launch of the Allianz Football League the Tyrone boss offered an insight into Cavanagh’s late introduction into the action that fateful afternoon in Croke Park.
“There was certainly no stand off between Sean Cavanagh and myself on the morning of the match against Cork,” he said.
“There may have been a contrived stand off on the part of the media.
“We both know each other a long time and we speak our minds when we have to and we interpret them as we see fit.
“It’s not a major issue for me nor for Sean. I’m certainly losing no sleep over it and neither is he.
“It was obvious on the morning of the match that Sean hadn’t slept well and my interpretation was that he wouldn’t be fit to last 70 minutes.
“There were a lot of things going on in his life that I was mindful of.
“He was getting married later in the year. He was secretary of the GPA and for good measure he was expected to go out and perform at the highest level every time he pulled on a Tyrone jersey.
“He though didn’t interpret that the same way as I did. He knows his mind and I was merely saying what my interpretation was.”
Harte maintains he didn’t see it as an error of judgement on his part and that it’s no big deal despite some people doing their best to make it one.
“I’ve no difficulty with it and neither has Sean. We’ve both said our piece and that’s the end of it.
“I was at Sean’s wedding not too long afterwards and there was no problem.
“Big Sean is one of the most open people you could ever meet. He doesn’t hide things and he’s straight and to the point.
“You have to allow people to have their opinions and be themselves.
“I’ve no difficulty with people holding strong opinions nor people disagreeing with me.”
The good news for Tyrone fans is that the big, strong running Moy clubman should be back playing for Tyrone come March.
The news regarding Stephen O’Neill is equally encouraging.
The man who dislocated his knee in the Dr McKenna Cup against Donegal at the weekend could be back within six weeks.
Harte said: “We would like to have him back as soon as possible as we have a high regard for the Allianz League a competition second only to the All Ireland.”
Tyrone captain Brian Dooher is another hot on the comeback trail and Harte is relishing the prospect of seeing him in action at some stage in the league.
“We can now all look forward to Brian Dooher playing league football for Tyrone sooner rather than later and that's something I couldn’t have promised a few weeks back,” he added.