Former Cavan and current Leitrim boss Terry Hyland previews the Ulster SFC final meeting with Donegal, influencing referees, where the game will be won and lost, and previews the other provincial finals. Hyland also talks about managing during the Covid era, and knowing people who have had the disease.
BY SHANE STAPLETON
Former Cavan boss Terry Hyland believes the team need to play 15 or 20% above themselves to have a chance against Donegal.
The counties meet in the Ulster final this Saturday, with the Tir Conaill men looking to complete a three-in-a-row as the Breffni hope to end a 23-year famine.
Hyland, who was in charge of Cavan for four and a half years and left in 2016, has seen Mickey Graham come in and lead the county to successive provincial deciders.
Before their win in 1997, they had been back for a final just once — in 2001 — but are massive outsiders against Declan Bonner’s outfit.
Cavan have come from behind to beat both Monaghan and Down in impressive fashion, while Donegal saw off Tyrone and Armagh.
Hyland is disappointed that his county have been relegated in the league in successive seasons, though he does say of the manager: “he has got us to two Ulster finals which nobody else could manage in the period before that.
“Cavan’s lesser players, for the lack of a better word, will have to play the best games they’ve every played, and the better players will too,” Hyland adds of his county winning.
“That’s what it’s going to need. If you can have a combination of the 15 players upping their game 15 or 20%, and not allowing Donegal getting a run or a couple of early goals.
“They will have confidence from coming behind in the past few championship matches, and they did it too in the league against Westmeath.
“They do finish strongly in games but the big guys don’t allow you to (come back).
“They keep the scoreboard ticking when they get ahead, so we can’t allow that gap.
“All you have to do is look at the bookies who are rarely wrong, Donegal are strong favourites which I’m sure everyone in Ireland thinks.
“My heart says Cavan but my head probably says Donegal.
“We have to look at it from a pragmatic point of view, so from me it would look like Donegal.”
Click play on the video at the top of the page as Hyland previews all the weekend’s football, and his season in charge of Leitrim.
Leinster SFC final
Dublin v Meath, Croke Park, 7pm – RTÉ
Ulster SFC final
Cavan v Donegal, Athletic Grounds, 4pm – RTÉ/BBC
Munster SFC final
Cork v Tipperary, Pairc Ui Chaoimh, 1.30pm – RTÉ
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