Tyrone manager Mickey Harte claims Darren Hughes and Tiernan McCann share blame over 'dive' incident
Tyrone manager Mickey Harte has launched a spirited defence of under-fire Tiernan McCann but admitted that the player realises he would 'respond differently' if a similar incident happened again.
McCann threw himself theatrically to the floor contributing to the red carding of Monaghan's Darren Hughes in Saturday's All-Ireland quarter-final, after Hughes appeared to ruffle his hair.
The incident has sparked a lot of controversy and McCann has been heavily criticised for his conduct.
Harte defended the young wing-forward and insisted that Hughes' was not blameless in the whole affair.
"You'd have to ask other people about that because they are the ones that are throwing the abuse at us but I have to say on behalf of Tiernan McCann... if he had the chance again he would have responded differently to what happened to him and we all accept that," he told BBC Northern Ireland.
"I don't think he's the first person to overreact and he won't be the last one to ever do it and I think there is plenty of precedence there where this has happened before and it hasn't caused the same furore.
"Tiernan McCann is a fine young man, a wonder footballer, he did lots of good things on Saturday in the game that seem to have been overlooked.
"I just want to say that he wasn't entirely to blame for all of this.
"If the player who raised his hand had chosen to do something differently then the outcome would have been different as well.
"That's life, people make mistakes from time to time.
"I don't think there is anyone in this world that hasn't made a mistake now and again."
In his defence of McCann, Harte referenced an incident where Paul Finlay appeared to punch Sean Cavanagh in the back of the head when the ball was gone.
"Is that a worse thing to do than punch somebody in the back of the head? Somebody else will have to give me the answer," he added.
Belfast Telegraph Digital