Linden says Monaghan must be respected
IT HAS been nine long years since Down last reached an Ulster final, but one man who knows all about playing in provincial deciders, Mickey Linden, believes that the wait can be ended this weekend against Monaghan – as long as the Mourne men are on top of their game.
The Mayobridge man appeared in seven Ulster finals, included the replayed 2003 match against Tyrone, and was victorious in 1991 against Donegal and in 1994 against the Red Hands.
“It’s not going to be easy, but they can certainly win it,” she said.
“Down got through against Fermanagh and played well in parts, but Fermanagh weren’t that great on the day. The fact that they lost a man in the first 10 minutes had a big bearing on it and it’s hard to know where Down are at.”
Linden, current manager of Newry Shamrocks, doesn’t expect James McCartan to take any chances with injury worries Dan Gordon and Benny Coulter.
“I think it’s going to be a very tough match for Down, particularly as Dan [Gordon] and Benny [Coulter] are unlikely to play any part. I don’t think they will be ready, that’s just the word in the county anyway.
“If they get over this match, it’s a possibility they will be ready for the final, but that’s a very big if isn’t it?”
The full story is in the current issue of Gaelic Life, published on Thursday June 21. Buy your copy now in your local newsagent, or you can purchase the online version – for only 90p – by clicking here