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Published: 15:47 | 19/6/17

Harte focused on silverware


Tyrone manager Mickey Harte says Sunday's win over Donegal will mean nothing if the Red Hands don't go on to claim the Ulster SFC title.

Tyrone secured their second successive provincial win over their great Ulster rivals after four defeats to the Tir Chonaill men in four years between 2011 and 2015, but Harte says Sunday's nine-point semi-final win in Clones will count for little if they don't beat Monaghan or Down on 16 July to regain their Ulster title.

"I'm an eternal optimist anyway, I’ve been seeing that a long time in coming for the last year and a half," Harte told the Ulster Herald.

"I knew that some day we'd deliver the performance we're capable of.

"Of course the conditions were suited to us today, we do like the dry sod on a hot day in Clones. You don't always get that but when they're there, it's nice to avail of them.

"The bottom line is that we've played two matches in Ulster and there were no cups handed out on any of those two days. There’s another one to be played.

"If at the end of the final we don't have the cup in our hands then this will be a very different result."

2008 All-Ireland winner Cathal McCarron believes this Tyrone team is the best he has played in during his nine years of inter-county football, but echoed his manager's thoughts on the importance of finishing the job by winning the Ulster final.

“I have never doubted that the talent in this team is second to none. I've been in the panel since 2008 and this is probably the best one that I've been involved in. It's just about showing what we’re capable of," the Dromore St. Dympna's defender said.

"All the players knew that a performance like this one was there. But sometimes we failed to produce it on a given occasion. I

"It came together, but it’s only the semi-final of the Championship and everybody is about long enough now not to be getting carried away.

"There's another game there to be won and we'll have to focus on either Monaghan or Down back here next month."

Photo Inpho/James Crombie

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