McGinley predicts new challenges for Tyrone
ENDA McGinley was in the thick of things each time Tyrone and Armagh locked horns throughout their intense rivalries of the 2000s, but the Errigal Ciaran man is expecting a more open game this time around.
Battles between the camps from both sides of the Blackwater River became like games of chess such was their knowledge of each other, but McGinley believes the influx of new faces will make for greater freedom on Sunday.
“I think it’s going to be a different game to what we saw in the past, but that could be a good thing, a bit of freshness to it. Towards the end of the big battles in the 2000s, the two teams knew each other so well that by and large they cancelled each other out, and games were really tight.
“On Sunday, there is the potential for a really good championship match between two teams who haven’t played each other that much over the past three or four years and who have both came through quite a transition. For that reason, there’ll be a lot of sorting out to be done early doors.”
Tyrone head into the lions den on Sunday when they make the trip to the new-look Athletic Grounds, and the All-Ireland winner believes that puts the advantage firmly with the home side as Tyrone attempt to adjust to their surroundings.
“It suits Armagh. It’s their home ground, and it’s a very atmospheric ground where the crowd are right in on top of you. You don’t feel the same ability to play it wide because the crowd condenses everything and draws you in to the middle.
“That’s a tactic which Tyrone have struggled with, as we saw last time out against Kildare. But since then, you can guarantee that Tyrone have worked hard on ways to avoid running into as many cul-de-sacs, and they’re going to need that ability further down the line if they do progress.”
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