Derry U20s must improve for Donegal semi-final says manager Hugh McGrath

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​Manager Hugh McGrath admits his Derry U20s must improve on their quarter-final display if they are to harbour hopes of defeating Donegal in next week's Ulster Championship semi-final.

McGrath's team were always the better side in Wednesday's victory over Cavan but never quite hit top gear in a patchy performance. Oisin Doherty's goal meant Derry were never in danger but McGrath warned a similar showing next week will mean the end of their championship journey.

"Well, if we don't we won't be in the Ulster final, it's as simple as that," replied the Derry manager when asked if he would be seeking improvement next week, "The calibre of teams left are such that if you don't improve on what we saw tonight you won't be going any further and the journey with this group will be over.

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"We don't want that to happen. This group is good, they've gelled really well, connected really well, so we want the best for them and that is to go out and perform at their best in the semi-final. If they do that it will get them over the line."

Derry’s Danny McDermott holds off a tackle from Oliver McCrystal of Cavan. Photo: George SweeneyDerry’s Danny McDermott holds off a tackle from Oliver McCrystal of Cavan. Photo: George Sweeney
Derry’s Danny McDermott holds off a tackle from Oliver McCrystal of Cavan. Photo: George Sweeney

Derry recovered from the early concession of two points to hit five unanswered and never looked in any real danger from that point.

"I would call it a win, not a good win," he added, "Look, we’re through and that was the aim at the start of the night. Have we a lot to learn from it? Yes, there were a lot of things that were untidy, things we wouldn't be happy with and given the calibre of footballer we have, we think we can do better.

"But look, quarter-finals are there to be won and we’ve won it. Now we have a very short window to get ready for the semi-final. Whatever issues we have had tonight, we need to get to work quickly and get those areas fixed."

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