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We must set targets higher, says Gallagher

By John Campbell

Donegal manager Rory Gallagher has warned his players to ensure that they have their shooting boots packed for Croke Park this evening.

The north west side will face Galway in the All-Ireland qualifiers anxious to atone for their woeful attempts at finishing in the second-half of the Ulster final.

Even Monaghan's defenders looked bemused as their opponents racked up 11 wides after the break while the Farney County were unable to score for 23 minutes - yet still managed to win the game!

Gallagher will want to see no repeat of such profligacy against a Galway side that has crept almost stealthily into the last 10 of the All-Ireland title race.

Gallagher looked on in disbelief as Donegal players, unmarked on occasions, managed to miss the target with depressing regularity.

Their manager's touchline body language clearly indicated that a repetition of such wastefulness will not be tolerated.

"I thought we had a lot of possession in the second half and played some good football but we missed some crucial chances and paid the penalty for this," said Gallagher.

Now his side must strive to make amends against a Galway side that will be bidding to make it a hat-trick of qualifier triumphs over Ulster sides having already put paid to the hopes of Armagh and Derry.

Gallagher summoned the out-of-touch Colm McFadden and Christy Toye ashore against Monaghan and will look for greater thrust and cohesion against Kevin Walsh's upbeat side who gave Mayo a stiff test in a fractious Connacht semi-final.

"It was exceptionally disappointing for us to lose to Monaghan because we cherish Ulster titles," states Gallagher.

"There were a lot of wides and obviously we had a couple of chances in the closing stages of the game and we just weren't able to take make them count."

Karl Lacey is an absentee because of a knee injury picked up in the Ulster final while Leo McLoone could get more game time.

Galway will have Shane Walsh back following injuries sustained in a car accident while Paul Conroy, Gary Sice and Gareth Bradshaw will provide an experienced edge.

Manager Walsh, who won All-Ireland medals with the county in 1998 and 2001, believes that Donegal will be "a major test" for his side.

"They will be hurting after that Ulster final defeat and will be a major test," Walsh warns.

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