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McConville Sees Ulster Sides Taking Drop From Division 1

5 February 2023; Kieran Duffy of Monaghan leaves the pitch after his side's defeat in the Allianz Football League Division 1 match between Kerry and Monaghan at Fitzgerald Stadium in Killarney, Kerry. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
By PJ Browne Updated
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Oisín McConville believes Monaghan, the great relegation escapologists of the Allianz Football League Division 1 in recent years, will drop a rung this season.

Last year, Monaghan preserved their residency in the top division with a dramatic victory over Dublin. A year previous, they did the same against Galway.

On Sunday, Monaghan lost by 11 points to Kerry, adding to their two-point loss to Armagh on the opening weekend.

"There's a significant chance they'll go down now," McConville told The GAA Social podcast.

"One of the reasons for that is Roscommon - they've picked up four points. If I was to look at Monaghan and their fixtures now, I'd find it hard for Monaghan to pick up four or five points from their remaining games. That leaves it tricky.

"We've been here before with Monaghan. I have to tread very carefully. I probably had them written off to go down in the last couple of years but it does look more inevitable this year.

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"You don't want to be going to Kerry if you're not 100 per cent sure, if you're missing a few bodies. I thought they were way off it [on Sunday]. Kerry looked very, very sharp considering how many players they have missing.

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5 February 2023; Darren McCurry of Tyrone in action against Mark Curran of Donegal during the Allianz Football League Division 1 match between Tyrone and Donegal at O'Neill's Healy Park in Omagh, Tyrone. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

"I think Monaghan will go down, but I think they'll be OK in the long run. By the time the championship rolls around, there will be a lot of players back... Whether he's rested them or they're injured. For the first time, Monaghan are really, properly giving an opportunity to the younger lads. They have to be given that at some stage because Monaghan will have to transition sooner or later. Probably now is as good as any.

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"It's tough for a new manager as well. You want to win games. If you're trying to sell something to a group of players, like Vinny Corey is, maybe a slightly different style of play, players in slightly different roles, wins are significant when you're trying to do that. That's not happening for them at the moment.

"When you look at the personnel, there's a lot of changes even from this time last year."

McConville thinks that Donegal - who lost heavily to Tyrone at the weekend - will be the other side relegated from Division 1.

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"When you look at Donegal, and their ability to score, that's an area that will have to improve quickly," he said.

"I know they got the win [against Kerry] but they're not racking up major scores, which would be a worry for Paddy Carr."

See Also: Meath GAA Apologise After Offensive Tweet About Down Hurling Ground

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