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Tyrone manager Mickey Harte is still looking for more

By John Campbell

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte had intimated prior to yesterday's game that Monaghan's desire to progress in the Ulster Championship and in the event gain compensation for their defeat in last year's final would stand them in good stead.

The words of the Red Hands' boss were to prove prophetic and he admitted he was relieved to hear the final whistle.

"I felt that had we been a bit more clinical in front of the goals we probably could have taken a bit of the sting out of their tail but we did not punish them when we ought to have done," said Harte.

And he suggested that this had served to help Monaghan sustain their momentum through the last quarter.

"We actually gave them hope to carry on and the fact that we missed a penalty obviously allowed them to breathe a little more easily. That is always a great boost to the opposition when it happens," added Harte.

"I think that from that point on Monaghan felt that they could take something out of the game."

While Tyrone's experience and fluency surfaced at intervals, Harte conceded that it had not been a vintage performance from his side.

"We were not at our best on this occasion and credit has to go to Monaghan for that.

"There is no doubt that we will need to improve for the semi-final - we were certainly provided with food for thought," stated Harte.

The manager's assessment of the Red Hands' performance was endorsed by goal-scorer Brian McGuigan who was to the fore in terms of creativity overall.

"I felt that we maybe we made things hard for ourselves and I have to say that I was relieved to get that goal. I have missed a couple in the recent past and it's always nice to hit the net in a championship match in particular," said McGuigan.

The Ardboe clubman conceded that Monaghan's tenacity and spirit had meant the match went down to the wire.

"You have to hand it to Monaghan - they played with a lot of passion and commitment and we are very happy to have got over this hurdle," added McGuigan.

Monaghan manager Eamonn McEnaney clearly felt that justice had not been done. The loss of skipper Dick Clerkin in the 29th minute was a major blow and McEnaney conceded afterwards that this put extra pressure on his side.

"It was always going to be hard coming in against Tyrone in Omagh but to have to play for over half the game with fourteen men was undoubtedly a big ask. I thought the way the lads responded was superb and when we got that goal from the penalty we looked as if we could have pushed on," reflected McEnaney.

The boss also expressed the belief that the newcomers in his squad would benefit considerably from their exertions yesterday.

"This was a tough match for any player in which to make his debut and the fact that we maintained our momentum right to the end speaks for itself," said McEnaney.

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