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McCann prepared for ‘massive challenge’ in Tuam

TYRONE head out west this weekend with a spring in their step after squeezing past Kerry last time out but Tiernan McCann has cautioned about the need to carry the winning momentum into the tough closing straight of Division One.

The match with Galway in Tuam on Sunday is the first of three tough games that the Red Hands face on the road in the second part of their league campaign, with their only home ‘comfort’ coming in the form of reigning All-Ireland champions Dublin next weekend at Healy Park.

McCann produced a typically energetic and tenacious display in the victory over the Kingdom at wet and windy Edendork, pitching in with an excellent score into the bargain.

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The seasoned Killyclogher campaigner is relatively pleased with Tyrone’s points return so far from three outings, which sees them sit on the coat-tails of league leaders Dublin, but realises the picture could turn again quickly.

“If you’re looking at the fixtures at the start of the year, four out of six isn’t bad, and it’s a good position to be in. But it’s very fickle, it can change extremely quickly, so it’s a matter of concentrating on the next game, the next performance, doing as much learning as possible from the Kerry game and try to bring that in to the next one.

“Going down to Galway is going to be a massive challenge. It’s a completely different game, in terms of conditions and in terms of personnel and the way they play. So it’s going to take more learning, more adaptability, I that’s crucial in the game now.”

Galway’s fortunes are now being steered by former attacking star Padraig Joyce who appears to be looking to revert back to a more enterprising and traditional style of play, for which the Tribesmen were long associated.

McCann has been impressed with what he has witnessed so far under Joyce’s stewardship.

“It’s a big challenge. From what I have seen he has brought the kicking game back to Galway.

“They always had the physicality and the pace, but maybe under previous management, they depended a little bit more on defensive football.

“Padraic Joyce, the man that he is and the footballer that he was, is definitely looking to a more attacking brand of football, which will be a challenge for us.”

Looking back on the one point victory over Kerry, Tiernan was satisfied at the character and determination the team displayed, especially in light of their insipid showing the previous week against Monaghan.

“I think from all quarters, we let ourselves down. Monaghan are a good team, and they showed that at Croke Park, they should have beat the
Dubs.

“So a poor performance against any Division One team, you’re not going to come away with any points at all.

“But we tuned up in training, in terms of our system and the way we were setting up, and the boys had a full understanding of that going into the weekend, which gives you a great chance.

“Then it’s just a matter of going out and executing that, and I think we did that quite well.”

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