Mickey Harte: Tyrone boss says Red Hands won't abandon blanket defence

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Mickey Harte says Dublin's first goal was the crucial moment in All-Ireland semi

Tyrone boss Mickey Harte has rejected suggestions that his team must now abandon the 'blanket defence system' following their All-Ireland semi-final 2-17 to 0-11 mauling by Dublin.

Dublin's emphatic win has led pundits to speak of the demise of the Tyrone method but Harte begs to differ.

"I don't think you give up on what you are doing because of one result," Harte told BBC Sport Northern Ireland.

"I wouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater. It has served us well."

Harte believes Tyrone could have competed with Dublin on Sunday if their defence "had done its job properly and if our attacking play had been more cautious, if you like, in not getting turned over".

"If we had done those things, I think we could have managed through the game a lot better. Whether we would ever have won it, I don't know.

"We have to review and see what we can do to add value to it but I wouldn't abandon the system altogether."

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Tyrone ill-equipped to chase game

Sunday's saw the Dubs using the full width of the pitch to completely overwhelm Tyrone's much-vaunted defensive system and the Red Hands' method left them ill-equipped to chase the game after Con O'Callaghan had hammered in an early goal.

With Dublin leading 1-9 to 0-5 at half-time, Tyrone did attempt to play a more expansive game in the second half but this only left them more exposed at the back and Dublin conceivably could have racked up five goals by the finish as they missed several glorious chances for further three-pointers.

"That's the price you have to pay (when you are that far behind). You have to go for it," said Harte of Tyrone's second-half efforts.

"You can't defend a deficit. You have got to attack. We had to go after the game and that does leave you a bit more vulnerable at the back."

Despite Sunday's disappointment, Harte insists that he wants to remain on for a 16th season in charge in 2018.

The Tyrone GAA board last year rebuffed Harte's request for a contract extension beyond this season so his current deal ran out after Sunday's defeat, although the three-times All-Ireland winning manager wants to be given a further term.

"It doesn't matter how quickly I want it sorted. It's up to those who have the power to sort it. Whatever they do or whatever time they take at it, I'll wait and see," added Harte.

Asked whether he expected matters to be decided in his favour, Harte replied:"I would hope so."

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