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Harte is relishing latest clash with hot rivals Derry

By Declan Bogue

Last January, Tyrone and Derry met in their first of five clashes of the year in Owenbeg and their rivalry seemed to be back to the combustible days of the mid-90s after a McKenna Cup final that brought 18 yellow cards and three reds.

It's a repeat of that pairing this Saturday in Pairc Esler, with Red Hands boss Mickey Harte finding himself answering some familiar questions as he aims to repeat last year's success and earn a sixth McKenna Cup in a row.

"Where Tyrone is situated in Ulster it is very hard to avoid neighbours, we have them nearly everywhere," he laughed.

"It is going to be competitive again. Derry and their supporters are coming from a place where there is a lot of talk about their players leaving them, discontent and turmoil and all this.

"But I don't see much of that going on now. Damian Barton seems to have a bunch of players who want to play for Derry and they are stating that clearly. They are playing for the jersey too and I think it is going to make for a very competitive final."

On player injuries, he added: "It's a bit of a mix and match at this stage. We will see what we can come up next week."

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