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Donegal boss Jim McGuinness' Celtic first team role may affect future with county

By Declan Bogue

Donegal manager Jim McGuinness has revealed that he works primarily with the Celtic first team now and it may affect his decision on staying in his inter-county management role.

Speculation on his future has intensified, but he is likely to take some time for reflection in the wake of an All-Ireland final defeat to Kerry.

"It's not that it's got more intense. It's just that in my job, I'm with the first team now and it's the same demands but just with the first team as opposed to the development squad. It's not a major issue but I'll just take time to reflect," he said at the team hotel yesterday.

He also praised the flexibility of his superiors at the Scottish soccer club, commenting: "Celtic have been absolutely fantastic to me. They have been really top class, from Neil (Lennon) the previous manager, and Ronny (Deila), this manager, the chief executive Dermot, the owner, they have been so flexible with me.

"Donegal has always been number one in terms of 'whatever you need to do, that's what you need to do.' So my flights and everything would always work around our training and where we are.

"If there was a game on then I would miss the game to go to the Donegal training, that has always been the way it has been."

McGuinness also laughed off the incident in Kerry last week when a former club mate and friend of his was reportedly caught up a tree spying on a Kerry training session at Fitzgerald Stadium.

He suggested that these manoeuvres are commonplace: "It's going on all the time. We put people out of our own training on Wednesday night and maybe three or four times in the lead in.

"It's been going on for the last three or four years.

"He's not associated to our camp but there's no doubt he's probably watching training. And we have that, we train in MacCumhaill Park some days and we have people in the hotel, looking down from the hotel."

The 42-year-old also addressed the goalkeeping mix-up that led to Paul Durcan's soft kickout being punished with a Kieran Donaghy goal, revealing that they had considered the colour clash of jerseys.

"We were going to propose, in the run up to the game, maybe to go in white ourselves. But you'd be nit-picking."

He also added criticism for matchday referee Eddie Kinsella, saying: "I thought the referee struggled for periods of the game. He didn't have an impact on the game in terms of swaying the game one way or the other but these are all wee bits and pieces but, for me, from a coaching point of view, we needed more energy."

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