‘It was all about belief’ – McGuinness

Dublin v Donegal (Senior) Semi Final 26

Jim McGuinness has put Sunday’s amazing victory over overwhelming favourites Dublin down to sheer belief from his players. “I asked them: ‘Do you believe in yourself and do you believe in your team-mates?’ That was the key thing.

“They kept pushing and pushing and we got over the line. It’s just a great feeling, but we need to get back at it very quickly to prepare for Kerry,” said the Glenties man after the game.

McGuinness’ men had been written off by pundits and bookmakers alike before Sunday’s game and the manager had absolutely no problem with that, in fact he actually agreed with most of what was being said. “I agreed with the odds to be honest with you,” said McGuinness.

“Every question that had been asked of Dublin coming into this, they answered. They showed in the first 15 or 20 minutes of the game the quality that they have. So no, there’s no problem there with what was expected.

“In terms of ourselves, we prepared for the match as best we could. We tried to get everything right for the 70 minutes and the players delivered. That’s all we wanted and all we cared about.”

In typical Jim McGuinness fashion, the manager was eager to point out that all he was interested in was getting the best possible performance out of his team, something that he has always looked to do in his four years at the helm in Donegal.

“Had we lost today by a point, I could have easily made peace with that. You just want them to give it everything and deliver the performance you know they can and they did that.”

Focus will now quickly turn to the upcoming final clash with Kerry on September 21st and for McGuinness it is an absolute dream to be facing Kerry in an All Ireland final.

“It’s a dream final in many respects for Donegal and it’s particularly a dream final when the minors are there as well,” he said.

Honesty has been a real buzz word used from McGuinness this term and he used it again after the game on Sunday when explaining what would be required if they were to beat Dublin.

“Every single county in Ireland has 15 good footballers and if they’re all fully, fully focused and they’ve got the heart and determination to play for their county and there’s a good gameplan there, you’re not going to be far away. We were hoping going into the game today that the honesty would be in the group, that we would deliver a gameplan and we still didn’t know if we were good enough to win the match or not because of the challenge that was presented to us,” said McGuinness.

 

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