Donegal manager Jim McGuinness is looking forward to the challenge posed by Cork’s physicality ahead of his side’s All-Ireland semi final clash with the league champions on Sunday. The manager refused to indulge in any criticism of the Rebels’ physical approach and said that Conor Counihan’s men were playing to their strengths.
He told the Irish News: “If you have big men, and they are strong men, and they are athletic, I think it would be very foolish if you didn’t provide a physical challenge for the opposition. What’s the point in having that strength if you are not going to lay a hand on anybody or get in amongst them?”
McGuinness is well aware that how his team cope with Cork’s sheer power and strength will go a long way towards deciding Donegal’s fate in Croke Park.
“Can we stand our ground against them? Or will we not be able to get out of the road quick enough? That will pan out as the game evolves.”
Midfield is another area where the Donegal manager feels the Rebels pose a huge threat to his side’s chances of reaching a first All-Ireland final in twenty years. Winning the tactical and aerial battles around the middle of the park will be vital for Donegal.
“Kick-outs are going to be a huge factor. They dominate kick-outs against most teams they play against. That gives them a platform to attack. They play a strong running game. They create a lot of chances through the middle. They ask a lot of questions down the middle.”