I was always expecting Tyrone to win but I was seriously impressed with the manner of their victory on Sunday.
They blew away a solid Donegal team and their attitude, hunger and fitness levels were like nothing that we’ve seen in the championship to date.
The match was tight for the first 15 minutes but after that our lads were the first to every ball and were working their socks off for each other. I thought our forward line was exceptional.
We’ve got a presence up front that was missing in the past when we’d have been pulling everyone back but now we’re leaving Mark Bradley up there no matter what’s happening at the other end of the pitch.
Bradley’s so fast that sides can’t commit too many players forward as they have to mind the space in front of him. He’s also such a clever player so when he does collect he almost always takes the right option when unloading to runners who are always coming at pace.
Tyrone’s tactics of sitting back and breaking at pace mightn’t be for the traditionalist but I think they’re a joy to watch. They’re one of the most athletic and fittest sides in the country and Mickey Harte has built a game plan that plays to those strengths.
Their subs bench is also full of fantastic footballers who are all so fit and lean which means that they don’t let up throughout the 70 minutes, an absolute nightmare situation for their opponents.
The Forward Conundrum
There’s been plenty of talk about Tyrone’s lack of a marquee forward, some of it from myself, but having looked at them yesterday I don’t believe it’s as big an issue as it was made out to be.
Ten of our starting fifteen scored yesterday which is a phenomenal return and they’ve been scoring for fun in their last two games.
We have lads all over the pitch who can take their points. Tiernan McCann got 1-1 from wing back, and when you have that you don’t need a Conor McManus or Cillian O’Connor to carry the rest of the side.
Yesterday was a complete team performance with the defensive and attacking workload shared evenly across the pitch.
They had a disappointing league, but Mickey Harte brings his game to a whole new level when it comes championship.
Harte has cracked something special here and I’m firmly of the belief that Tyrone are now ahead of the likes of Kerry and Mayo.
Dublin are still the top dogs but Tyrone are undoubtedly the biggest threat to them and best placed to beat them at the business end of the championship.