DESPONDENT Tyrone attacker Cathal McShane believes that the team have shown in the past they have the necessary powers of recovery to bounce back from Ulster Championship defeats to carry their season long into the summer.
The Red Hands lost out on another opportunity to annex the Anglo-Celt Cup with an uninspiring four point defeat against Donegal at Kingspan Breffni Park on Saturday night, leaving Declan Bonner’s impressive team on course to retain their Ulster title.
It was a limp Tyrone performance which raised many questions about the team’s ability to battle for the All-Ireland later in the year but McShane, who top scored with four points at the weekend, warns that recent history suggests it would be wrong to write them off.
“We have to get back at it, as simple as that. It was the same last year when we lost to Monaghan and then went on a good run.
“We will get back to training, look at what went wrong today. We’ll see who we get in Monday’s draw and then plan for that over the next two weeks.”
While Tyrone were largely outplayed by the Tir Chonaill in Cavan, the Owen Roes ace felt that his side still carved out enough goal chances to make the contest more competitive.
“We are obviously disappointed. That definitely wasn’t the plan before we started.
“We didn’t get the rub of the green there.
“In the first half we had three or four goal chances and didn’t manage to take any of them. On another day if you took one or two of those you would be in a much better position.
“We could have went in at half-time with the deficit much more manageable. But it is what it is.”
Both counties went at it toe to toe during a breathless opening but a harsh black card for Peter Harte in the tenth minute seemed to knock the stuffing out the Red Hands, who toiled for the remainder of the half. McShane however refused to look for handy excuses to explain their drop-off.
“I didn’t actually see Petey’s black card but from what people were saying it seemed harsh.
“But even with that blow and conceding the goal we still had the players to react to that.
“As I said we had the goal chances which could have left us in a much better position.”
Despite the glaring shortcomings in the Tyrone display, Donegal were still hanging on in the closing stages as their opponents chased the goal which could have rescued the tie.
McShane was adamant that the attitude of the players couldn’t be faulted whatever about their quality on the night.
“There was a great effort put in in the second half but unfortunately it was one of those nights for us where things didn’t click.
“At the end up there was only four points in so that makes it frustrating alright that we didn’t make the most of those other chances in the first half.”
McShane has been the focal point of the Tyrone forward unit for much of the season and the main beneficiary of the more traditional kicking game they have looked to adopt. He accepts that space was much harder to come by around the edge of the opposition square on Saturday.
“They did get a lot of men back. We still had our chances though which on another day we could have made more out of. The boys tried really hard despite the result.
“There was loads of things we didn’t do well.
“We didn’t execute the basic skills like we normally do well. We will have to go away and work on that and make sure we get it right for the Qualifier route.”