Brian Dooher: Tyrone must keep focus on football ahead of showdown with Mickey Harte’s Derry, warns joint-manager

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Brian Dooher says Tyrone will appeal the red card which could rule Conn Kilpatrick out of Sunday’s Division One league clash with Mickey Harte’s Derry.

The midfielder received a straight red for a high tackle early in the second half of the 0-17 to 1-11 win over Roscommon in Healy Park in Omagh.

Dooher labelled the dismissal “harsh”.

The Tyrone joint-manager also insisted the focus must remain on football, not on individuals or sub-plots, ahead of the showdown with their bitter rivals.

Derry are now managed by Harte, who led Tyrone to six All-Irelands including three senior titles.

“It is just another match for us,” claimed Dooher, who captained Tyrone to All-Ireland titles in 2005 and 2008 under Harte.

“We have to get back to what it is, which is a football match, 15 against 15. That’s all we should be looking at.

“We will go away this week and prepare as well as we can.

“Hopefully the boys will give a good account of themselves and wherever that takes us, it takes us.”

Derry started life in Division One under Harte with an impressive one-point win away to Kerry, while Sunday’s victory was the first time Tyrone had won their opening league match since 2020.

Asked if the prospect of coming up against Harte, who faces Tyrone for the first time as Oak Leaf boss at Celtic Park, might become a distraction during the week, Dooher told BBC Sport NI: “I don’t think so”.

“I think it’s all about football, the boys are here to play football and here to represent Tyrone and do their best in a Tyrone jersey.

“If you go back to those principles, that’s what you want.”