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Tyrone boss not concerned by lack of goals

Mickey Harte has leapt to defence of his attackers

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte has leapt to the defence of his forwards who have again come under fire for their perceived lack of a goal scoring threat.

The Red Hands struggled to raise green flags throughout the course of the National League (3 goals) and again failed to breach the net in their Ulster Championship first round clash with Derry last month.

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However, ahead of this afternoon’s semi showdown against Donegal, Harte felt that such flak was unwarranted and added that the scoring return at Celtic Park was more than satisfactory.

“It seems to be a concern for some people but not particularly for us. It’s very hard to answer all those concerns. Any day you score 22 points in a Championship match at an away venue, that isn’t a bad performance. If you were to get 22 points any day you go out, you wouldn’t be beaten very often.”

The Tyrone manager also pointed out the struggles of the All-Ireland champions Dublin against a fourth division foe and argued that there wasn’t the same outcry over their failure to register goals.

“People can pick on whatever they want and talk about goal-scoring opportunities all day. Last year we scored three goals (vs Derry) and that was considered the reason we won the game, it was argued we weren’t getting enough points then.

“ Some people you can’t satisfy. Like how many goal chances did Dublin create the other night against Carlow? They ended up with 19 points and I don’t hear many people crying about lack of goal chances. Maybe some teams attract more attention than others.”

Looking ahead to the rest of the Championship, Harte is relaxed about the scope of attacking options he has at his disposal.

“We have a decent squad, a lot of newer, younger players have come in, some in their first or second year. They are all getting experience each year they are there and becoming better players. It’s a very difficult challenge to pick (a) the first fifteen  and (b) the 26 who can be named on the day.

“That’s a difficult challenge but it is a good one to have too as if you automatically knew what your starting fifteen was then there wouldn’t be a challenge to get in. So it’s a healthy situation even though it’s a challenge for management to make those selections.”

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