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Barton full of praise for players despite loss

By Declan Bogue

Damian Barton was clear about what he found acceptable with Derry's display in their defeat to Tyrone but perhaps tellingly shone a light on his own performance as manager.

"What pleased us was that we played well for 25 minutes and we had the initiative in the first-half in particular," the Newbridge man said of their opening salvo.

"We got a bit lazy. We have to look at ourselves on the sideline tactically in terms of who we left free. I think the boys defended valiantly when we went down to 14 men (Emmet McGuckin received two yellow cards).

"But it was very difficult. We had a chance at the end but it was kicked short. I couldn't ask any more from the players."

The Oak Leafs will host Queen's on Wednesday night and Barton made the point that he will be ringing the changes again as they look set to qualify for the semi-final as the best runners-up.

"We have to play football, that's what this competition is about. We're still very much in the competition. But we've got to give people a chance. That for us is the key," he said.

Meanwhile, Red Hands boss Mickey Harte promised a video nasty for his players in Garvaghey.

"There's encouraging performances and lots of work to do," he said.

"We were cut open far too many times. You will never be happy about conceding four goals in a single game. But yes, it's nice to win the game.

"It's nice to come back from a big deficit but there are lots and lots of things to work on and that's not just small talk. The video evidence will show that to us."

Meanwhile, all fixtures in the Conor McGurk Tournament, hosted by Queen's, were called off over the weekend.

Monaghan have also pulled out entirely after not fielding a side against Derry.

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