Donegal manager Jim McGuinness impressed by Dublin

Donegal boss Jim McGuinness came away from Dublin's win over Tyrone hugely impressed by the Metropolitans but nonetheless undaunted for his team's All-Ireland semi-final task.

"Mind you, I was told by a lot of Dubs that I might as well stay at home," laughs the Donegal boss.

"You'd have to be very impressed at the pace which they moved themselves and the ball.

"It was very difficult (for Tyrone) to get a handle on the game."

McGuinness noted that the sheer pace of the Dubs' play rendered Tyrone's much-vaunted defensive system totally ineffective.

"There was a lot made of Tyrone and sweepers and things like that.

"But the reality was that Dublin were moving the ball so quickly from the half-backs to the half-forwards and then on to the inside line that it was very difficult for Tyrone.

"And you have three players in the Dublin full-forward line (Bernard Brogan, Alan Brogan and Diarmuid Connolly) who are two-footed, have serious pace, can kick from outside and can put the ball under their arm, take four steps and beat you.

"It's a very dangerous combination and all three of them can win their own ball.

"They were also winning a lot of ball in their own half-back line and coming out with it and within four steps kicking it to the players upfield who knew it was coming first time.

"Alan Brogan won four or five balls on the left wing and as soon as he won it, he kicked on the diagonal to his brother.

"Obviously, there's a brotherly thing in that but at the same time, they knew it was coming first time everytime and they were ready for that.

"That's very, very difficult to defend against and it's going to be a huge challenge for us."

If there can be a criticism of Donegal's campaign thus far, it would be the team's slow start in the majority of their matches.

McGuinness takes the stats on board although he adds that the ability to regroup from early struggles has been a crucial factor in the team's victories.

"It would be nice to get a good start. Would make a change.

"I think we'd two points against Antrim in the first 20 minutes, Cavan the same and one point in the first 25 minutes against Tyrone.

"We'd four in the first 20 minutes against Derry - although we were 4-2 up - and we'd three points in the first 38 minutes against Kildare.

"I don't know how they would react now if then got a goal and five or six points in the first 20 minutes.

"There are a few things there.

"Why are we not starting well and not taking the game to the opposition earlier and harder in the game?

"That's something we'd like to see against Dublin.

"The flip side of that is that they are not pressing the panic button.

"They believe in themselves and they are working their way through the game."

Top Stories