TYRONE’S Tiernan McCann isn’t getting too carried away by their emphatic win over Monaghan last Saturday night at Healy Park and he’s expecting another typically close all-Ulster encounter with Cavan this evening (Saturday).
Both the Red Hands and their Breffni counterparts are too close to the bottom of the Division One table for comfort, which means this weekend’s clash in Omagh has plenty riding on it.
And while Tyrone have been buoyed by a somewhat surprisingly straightforward 1-16 to 0-12 victory over the Oriel men, the Killyclogher half-back is keeping his feet
firmly on the ground after seeing
Cavan rack up 3-13 in a nine point home win over Roscommon on Sunday.
“They did look impressive,” admitted the 27-year-old. “They’re quite solid defensively this year. If they had been more accurate with their frees, they could potentially have beaten Kerry, and the Galway game was very tight too, when they lost men to black cards.
“They’re only now reaping the rewards of the good performances they have been showing to date.
“They’re under new management now, and they have similar traits to what that Mullinaghta team has. They’re very hard to beat, they’re resolute and they look powerful and strong.
“We’re in the same boat as them at the minute, we’re both fighting desperately for more points.
“Typically Tyrone-Cavan games are actually very close, in McKenna Cup, league and championship, we had a draw with them in the championship a couple of years ago, so we’re expecting something similar on Saturday night.”
Although a little surprised by the ease of last weekend’s triumph over Monaghan, McCann believes that result was a case of the squad reaping what they sewed during rigorous training sessions over the preceeding fortnight.
“Going by how we had trained in that two weeks, that form came because our training was excellent,” he explained.
“I think the fitness levels now are getting to a place where they needed to be, and our training has reflected that in the last two weeks.
“I’m not surprised at how we played in areas, but obviously Monaghan would have to be disappointed with their performance on the night.”
Last Saturday’s performance saw a massive improvement from the Red Hands in terms of offence, which McCann again puts down to the work put in on the training pitch and he is confident the supporters, who they owed a performance, will get to see more of the same in the forthcoming fixtures.
“We have been working very hard on that (attacking play), and we saw the significance of it at the weekend,” he added.
“Hopefully that will come more into it over the next few games.
“We continue to owe the supporters, [they] come and pay £19 in to see us on a Saturday night, so we’ll continue to try and do the same in the coming weeks.”
With confidence and positivity now coursing through the squad after sealing that massive result against Monaghan, McCann believes there will be even more to come when Tyrone get back up to full strength.
FULL STORY IN THIS WEEK’S ULSTER HERALD