Monaghan manager Malachy O’Rourke is wary of the threat Donegal pose to his side’s chances of retaining the Anglo Celt Cup.
Donegal meet Monaghan on Sunday in a repeat of the 2013 Ulster Final decider, a game in which underdogs Monaghan upset the odds to stun Donegal and stopped their quest to win three Ulster titles in-a-row.
Manager O’Rourke believes last season was a bit of an off-year for Jim McGuinness’s charges, and says their form so far this year would indicate they’re back operating at the level they were in 2011 and 2012.
He feels his team will be up against it on Sunday, stating that they’re facing a team that has a serious pedigree.
O’Rourke said, “People forget Donegal were All-Ireland champions two years ago, they’ve serious pedigree.
“They won two Ulster titles in-a-row, lost to us last year, and are back in the decider again this year.
They’re a serious team, and we face a serious test on Sunday for us but that’s why you play football.
O’Rourke also believes Donegal are carrying a lot of hurt from last year, after the humiliation they received at the hands of Mayo in the All-Ireland quarter-final.
“They’re carrying hurt from last year, without a doubt, they’re hurting.
“They look hungry, and I was impressed with how they applied themselves against Derry, and also how they performed in the second-half against Antrim.
“We’ll prepare as well as we can for Sunday and hope we can get a big performance from our players.