The old saying that a week is a long time in football was never more prevalent than it was in Omagh after Donegal’s game against Tyrone on Sunday.
At the same time the previous week, new Donegal manager Paddy Carr was as proud as punch as he spoke to the media following a brilliant win over All Ireland champions Kerry.
Fast forward seven days and Carr cut a dejected figure having just seen his team hammered by Tyrone.
Paddy Carr has been in the game long enough to know that not every game is going to be as perfect as the win over Kerry and he speaks about the lessons his side must learn if they want to compete at the top level in Division One.
“We just didn’t get to the pace of the game at all. We talked during the week about some of the easy possession we gave up against Kerry last week and I think for the first four or five attacks we had today, we gave the ball away.
“That just gave Tyrone even more heart and they were able to come with a cluster of scores, which made them comfortable in the game.
“We didn’t do what we said we were going to do and the lads are exceptionally disappointed in there but we have a good few lessons to take and we must bounce back from this, because that’s not the scoreboard you want to see when your playing Tyrone in Healy Park.”
Tyrone were certainly a lot better then what they showed in Hyde Park during the opening day defeat to Roscommon.
But that still doesn’t take away from the fact that Donegal made it easy for them.
Paddy Carr is hoping that can put things right when some big names return for the clash with Monaghan in two weeks time in Clones.
“I thought Tyrone were more clinical than us in the attacks they had and you could see that they were obviously right up for it but it was the very basic mistakes we made that really cost us.
“Look, there is nobody in that changing room in good form like they were last week but we know that we are very much a work in progress.
“We have a lot of good Donegal footballers champing at the bit to get back on the field. They have a fortnight now to get right. We’ll take today on the chin and look to bounce back in two weeks time.”
One of the very few positives for Donegal supporters and management on Sunday was the return of Peadar Mogan after there had been rumours that the St Naul’s man might not return to the set-up, having moved to Liverpool and Carr was clearly delighted to have Mogan back on board.
“It’s good to have Peadar back on board, no question about it. We gave him as much game time as we could today and he’ll be a serious addition for us going forward.
“We have another half a dozen lads to come back, who will all have significant roles to play as the year goes by and it’ll be nice to see them all back on the field.”
The Donegal manager was forced into replacing his captain, Paddy McBrearty when the Kilcar man went down with an injury late in the game but the manager insisted that he would have to wait for a prognosis from the medical staff before making any calls on his captain.
“He was holding his leg when he came off there so it’s obviously a concern but we’ll have to wait to see what the medics say and let them assess the severity of the injury.”
Despite the fact that Tyrone bossed the game for large periods and deservedly won by eight in the end, Carr wasn’t best pleased with the performance of referee David Gough and also pointed to a missed opportunity in the first half as a possible game changer when the game was still in the melting pot.
“You know yourself, when you ask managers about referees, we can never say too much but I would say that we had a lot of marginal decisions go against us on the day.
“As for the goal chance in the first half, if that goes in the net as opposed to being cleared off the line we would’ve been coming in at half time with a totally different view and you just never know what might have happened.”
Before a ball was kicked in Division One this season, pundits up and down the land were predicting a very tight affair, with all seven teams capable of taking points off each other on any given day and the Donegal manager is already preparing himself for a fight that could very well go to the last day.
“There is absolutely no doubt that points will be hard to come by but sure we’ve known that from the start.
“Things will change every week and in so many games, it’ll only be a kick of the ball between the teams.
“Look, the most important thing for us is that we get ourselves right and we’ve a good few lessons to take from today.
“The league itself could very well come down to the final day and we’ll be doing our very best to make sure we’re still playing at this level next season.”