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Burns confident Mournemen are on the up ahead of Donegal test

 

By John Campbell

Down manager Eamonn Burns may not have had his sorrows to seek on occasion this year but there appears to be a wind of change blowing in his favour.

The form shown by several substitutes in the recent Ulster Championship win over Antrim has strengthened the Mourne boss' hand ahead of Sunday's semi-final against Donegal.

Burns is already without Darragh O'Hanlon but remains optimistic that Ryan Johnston will be available again after injury.

He is also considering the credentials of players such as David McKibbin, Sean Dornan, Ryan McAleenan, Jonny Flynn and Niall Madine, who all saw action against the Saffrons in the quarter-final.

Burns has already taken stock of Fermanagh's win over Monaghan on Sunday and, while conscious of the shock factor that has been a feature of the Ulster series, he accepts that Donegal are perceived to be in pole position for the title.

"We have been taking one match at a time and Donegal are on our radar now," said Burns.

"While I was happy with our shot selection against Antrim, I was not that happy with our accuracy. We have been working on it and hopefully we will get a greater return of scores on Sunday.

"While our decision-making let us down in the league, I think we were better in that Championship win and the hope is that we can further improve in this area against Donegal.

"We will concentrate on our own strengths and try and impose ourselves on the game.

"We know it will be extremely difficult but we have prepared well and hopefully the team will give it their best shot."

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