It didn’t take long for the mind games to get going ahead of next Sunday’s All-Ireland quarter-final with Donegal. Jim McGuinness – who in fairness made his comments right after the final whistle in Carrick-on-Shannon and so more than likely before he knew they’d drawn us – got in first with his moan about how his players are being targeted but James Horan was quick to hit back with what he had to say at tonight’s press event in Breaffy.
McGuinness’s tirade from last night was fairly stunning in its brazenness and its downright hypocrisy. He tut-tutted, for example, about third man tackles (think about that for a minute – the manager of this Donegal team complaining about something his players do all day, every day) and simpered about the “duty of care” he has to his players. The downright thuggery that the likes of the McGees and Murphy get up to every time they take the field demonstrates the speciousness of McGuiness’s position: he has no problem when his lads are dishing it out but now suddenly it’s a major issue when other teams start paying them back in their own filthy coinage.
We know what he’s up to, of course, and James Horan left no doubt tonight that he knows too. Michael Gallagher of the Western People tweeted from tonight’s press event a statement that John Fogarty of the Irish Examiner later attributed to James who said that “Donegal will try anything that gives them an advantage”. That’s it in a nutshell.
It’s going to be an interesting build-up to Sunday, I reckon.