Eoghan Ban Gallagher says Donegal’s players are putting pressure on themselves to deliver big results and live up to the expectation.
After a golden period of six Ulster finals in a row from 2011 to 2016, when Donegal won three Ulster titles and an All-Ireland, the rug flew from beneath their feet in 2017.
Now, though, Donegal stand 70 minutes from a return to the final again as they prepare to face Down on Sunday in Clones.
“It’s time that us younger fellas really step up and start reaching the same levels as Neil McGee, Michael Murphy and Paddy McGrath,” Gallagher said.
“With us being a successful underage team, that added to the pressure. No-one puts pressure on us, but we put pressure on ourselves and that drives the whole project on. We fell short of the expectation in the last couple of years. We were close in two Ulster finals and could have fallen over the line.”
Last year, Donegal were hammered by Tyrone in a semi-final before their season crashed with a heavy qualifier defeat to Galway in Sligo.
Gallagher, who was on the Declan Bonner-managed minor team that reached the All-Ireland final of 2014, added: “Even on the day, I couldn’t figure out what went so badly wrong against Tyrone. We never recovered mentally. We scrapped over the line against Longford and Meath. We thought we were going well at training, but Galway hit us with two goals and it was like being back in Clones again.”
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