Ryan McHugh: 'We didn't become a bad team overnight'
BEATEN but unbowed - and still firmly in the race for Sam Maguire.
That's the defiant message from Ryan McHugh as Donegal seek to banish their Ulster final demons with a redemptive 'back door' win over Galway in Croke Park tomorrow.
"We didn't become a bad team overnight, so we've high expectations within this camp of ourselves - and rightly so," declared the 2014 Young Footballer of the Year.
"We did a lot of good things (against Monaghan) but a few things went wrong - we've just to try and put those things right and hopefully that's good enough to beat Galway."
McHugh cited Donegal's erratic shooting - 15 wides, 11 alone during the second half - as a pivotal factor in their one-point defeat. But even here, he spied a potential positive.
"In my own opinion, it's a reason we can put it down as a bad day at the office, more than something that's going to happen again," the Kilcar dynamo suggested.
"Over the years, with Rory (Gallagher) this year and with Jim (McGuinness), we've always taken our chances."
For all that, McHugh is predicting a "very tough game" against Galway. "They've had great underage success and they're coming in at senior now," he told Donegal Daily TV.
"We're going to be up against it. They've a good side - six of the best forwards in Ireland about, and two of the best midfielders, and their defenders are tight markers.
"They've beaten what we've nearly beaten this year, in Derry and Armagh, and they ran Mayo close - and we know exactly how good a team Mayo is," he added.
"So it's going to be tough, we know that. But we'll be concentrating more on our own game and what we've done wrong in games and what we've done right - and try to get the ultimate performance, which we will need to beat Galway."