Emmet Bradley says Derry must have more belief in their ability to defeat top teams as they prepare for a tough All Ireland Round One Qualifying clash with Kildare next weekend.
The Glen player was superb in Sunday’s Ulster Championship reversal to Donegal, a game that could have been much closer had Derry converted even some of their 13 wides. Bradley, who scored 0-8 of Derry’s 0-16 total, believes Derry must learn to be ruthless if they are to turn positives performances into results.
“Definitely (there is encouragement), not doubt about it,” revealed the Watty Graham’s player, “In the last 15 minutes it nearly looked - coming on the back of relegation and all the dark clouds that have been hanging over us - it looked as if we didn’t believe we could go on and win the thing.
“We had a couple of chances for goals and if you take them, the whole outlook of the game changes and you get within striking distance. You have to put yourself in the melting pot for it.
“Going forward we need to believe we can put in those performances and challenge the big teams.”
Despite the disappointment of Sunday’s six point defeat, Bradley said the Oak Leafers can only benefit from the game and he’s hoping for an extended run through the Qualifiers.
“For Derry football to get back where it needs to be, that level is where we need to see ourselves,” he added. “I always said, you are a product of your surroundings and if you are surrounding yourself with that calibre of players and competing against that calibre of player week in, week out, you’re only going to get better and raise your standard. That’s where we want to be going forward.
“It is up to us to get our own house in order and get to the fitness levels of the top teams, get a strong squad built and keep building as we go through the qualifiers. Hopefully we can get a good run through that.”