Former All Ireland winning Gaelic footballer analyses the team ahead of their Ulster opener against Derry
Former Tyrone All Ireland winner Enda McGinley says there is a little less optimism heading into this year's All Ireland Championship in comparison to 2016.
Mickey Harte's side begin their Ulster Championship against Derry on Sunday after an Allianz League campaign which started well but petered out into a sixth place finish in Division 1.
"In terms of Sunday, expectations would be high. Looking longer term, this time last year we would have been much more optimistic and it ended in failure in the end," said McGinley on Off The Ball.
"I suppose this year it means were a wee bit shier in terms of being overly optimistic. In terms of the Division One campaign, the big thing you would query is have Tyrone brought anything new to the table or are they essentially playing the same game that they've been playing these last two years which in the end has fallen short? So where other teams seem to have brought something new, Tyrone seemed to be trying the same. Now that was based on the league, so it will be very interesting to see on Sunday against Derry whether they are going to bring something new."
Neil Forrester (Derry) and Ronan McNamee (Tyrone) ©INPHO/Presseye/Lorcan Doherty
McGinley added that while Tyrone are comfortably a Division One side, "they're still lacking that wee bit where the questions are really asked of them".
McGinley also discussed why Tyrone have set up defensively and how it doesn't actually play into the instincts of Harte.
"He was dead against this sense of falling back and this sense of blanket defence," said McGinley of his time playing for Harte as an emerging player at underage level.
"But Tyrone came up against Donegal who had perfected it and we could not beat them over a number of years. So I suppose the greatest flattery is to copy and Tyrone then went to this defensive style that they themselves had struggled to break down. I don't think it's Mickey's type of game as such. I think he's looked at the panel and I think for the players that he's got, this is the best system to get the most out of that team. But it has fallen short so it's whether he can squeeze something else and whether he can come with something new to bring them on another level. They're not far away but I still think they have to come with something slightly new to the table."