MICKEY HARTE HAS made a passionate defence of his Tyrone team following criticism made by RTÉ analyst Joe Brolly.
Following Saturday’s win over Monaghan, Harte was asked about Brolly’s “rugby tackle” comments which focused on a 49th minute Sean Cavanagh foul on Conor McManus.
“I wouldn’t be surprised, that is par for the course. I’ve heard that before. Is that logical observations that we are getting there? A complete tirade is all that I’ve ever heard from certain individuals.
“Look at the game in its entirety and tell me how did the balance of fouling add up. Give me the statistics of the whole game and then I will talk about the individual instances.
“It’s a worry that there is so much focus on little things that happened in the game and I’d like to think if you really forensically examine the whole game you might find other things of the same nature that you speak about.
“So I wish you would talk about the good game that we had there and stop delving into the negativity.”
There was plenty of controversy during a tense encounter and Harte said hadn’t seen the incident for which Martin Penrose was given a red card before the start of the second half.
“He’s a brilliant footballer,” said Brolly, “but you can forget about Sean Cavanagh as a man.”
“I wasn’t close enough to see it properly, but for Martin Penrose to be in an incident like that wouldn’t be like him. Of course it made us change with a man down. You then have to withdraw another forward, it was upsetting of course, but the players responded very well.”
Harte feels that there is the right mix of youth and experience in the Tyrone team to make a further impact.
“How good are we? Who knows? But we are getting past teams and we are in the last four and I would imagine we will need to be a lot better to get to the final. We are a work in progress, but we are getting there.
“We believe we have a good mix of serious seasoned players, middle aged players, and some young players. That is what is needed and you have to believe things are possible, when you do they are possible.”