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Donegal expecting physical test against Galway

28 January 2018; Donegal manager Declan Bonner speaks to his players after the Allianz Football League Division 1 Round 1 match between Kerry and Donegal at Fitzgerald Stadium in Killarney, Co. Kerry. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

Donegal manager Declan Bonner is expecting a more physical contest this week when his side face Galway in O’Donnell Park.

Bonner’s charges opened their league campaign with a narrow loss to Kerry in a high-scoring game last week.

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However, they are likely to encounter a more defensive opposition in Galway this week, who will be buoyed by their opening day win over Tyrone.

“We all know Galway can play football.

“You look at the forwards they have, with (Damien) Comer, and Shane Walsh.

“They have another young lad, (Padraic) Cunningham who gave up his soccer career. He’s a very good player who came off the bench last week, and I’d expect him to be involved this weekend.

“Paddy Tally has probably been the biggest addition to them, and he’s coming in looking to add that steel and physicality, and that defensive set-up.

“It’s going to be difficult – we know that. It’s going to be an interesting afternoon. Will it be as free-flowing and high-scoring as last Sunday? I don’t know.”

Despite an impressive performance, Donegal were still beaten last Sunday, and with an away trip to Dublin on the horizon next week, the match against Galway is very important.

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Bonner stayed away from putting it in ‘must-win territory’ on Tuesday at his side’s press call.

“We want to build on the performance from Kerry and get a performance over 70 minutes. Over a sustained period, we have to get better.

“We want to be in Division 1 and we’re just getting ready to play Galway now. This is all part of the development; it’s not the be all and end all.”

Mark Anthony McGinley will miss the next few weeks after picking up a quad injury against Kerry.

Jamie Brennan and Jason McGee also picked up injuries in that outing and are ‘touch and go’ for the weekend.

Bonner has three Gaoth Dobhair players – Cian Mulligan, Michael Carroll, and Dáire Ó Baoill – in his panel, and they also have a game in the Ulster Under 21 Club Tournament in Creggan on Sunday against Carryduff.

He said: “I will be chatting to the players tonight (Tuesday). We’ll probably be holding one of them – we’ll have to.

“We’ll sit down and chat with the players involved. Cian Mulligan is back in full training, and he will get game time with Gaoth Dobhair on Sunday.

“I’ll have to make a decision on the other two lads.”

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