"We sort of feel as if we've plateaued" - Enda McGinley on Tyrone as Donegal loom large

Ex-Tyrone midfielder and former Donegal player Brendan Devenney look ahead to the Ulster semi final

Tyrone, Donegal, GAA, Gaelic football

Donegal's Eoghan Ban Gallagher with Ben O'Donnell, Michael McKernan and Niall Kelly of Tyrone ©INPHO/Presseye/Lorcan Doherty

Former Tyrone midfielder Enda McGinley feels there is a perception that the team has "plateaued" heading deeper into this year's Ulster Championship in comparison to the levels of expectation this time last year. 

He and former Donegal star Brendan Devenney joined Off The Ball to look ahead to the clash between their counties in the Ulster semi final on Sunday. 

"We sort of feel as if we've plateaued maybe," said McGinley on comparisons to last year's more buoyant entry to the summer.

"And so we're going in a wee bit more tentative this year. Donegal, on the other hand, feel like they're on the upward curve. But they are playing really young players and that Ulster Championship match against Tyrone is going to be a major step up for them players." 

Donegal defeated Tyrone 0-12 to 0-6 in Ballybofey in the Allianz Football League back in March but Devenney feels his former side should still err on the side of caution.

"If you're talking League and Championship, they're different things. Even though the leagues are getting more important and are getting higher placed and they are a barometer, it's still Championship. Looking back that night at Ballybofey on a bad night, Tyrone didn't turn up at all but you can't say Tyrone were as bad as Dad and Donegal were that far ahead of them," he said, adding that last year's Championship showed how tight the fixture can be when Tyrone edged Donegal by two points.

And from a Donegal perspective, Devenney feels that there is a realisation that a more negative brand of football "can only get you so far" as Rory Gallagher's side implement a more inventive approach.