Mickey Harte is only man to decide when his time is up as Tyrone manager, says Peter Canavan

It’s not up to the players nor anybody else to tell a man who has won what he has with Tyrone, whether or not it’s time to go.

I think Mickey is in the process of weighing his options up now.

He has to ask himself; does he have the stomach for it? Does he have the willingness to go at it again? And can he get the best out of them?

If he does, he will have the support of the county. But that’s a decision only Mickey can make.

There is cause for optimism in the coming years.

Younger players are there, albeit there is learning to be done. In the last few games against Donegal, we haven’t been able to get the better of the kick-outs.

In terms of physicality, we struggled at times in the middle sector.

I would say we don’t have the same quality of player that Donegal has at the minute. So there is work to be done.

But up front, with Cathal McShane, Darragh Canavan and Conor McKenna, we certainly have more attacking options than we have had for quite a while.

Sunday afternoon in Ballybofey was a compelling game, with both physicality and intensity. It was what we expected from the two sides. They gave it everything.

Despite the dreadful conditions, they still served up a thrilling contest.

If you had told me before the game that Tyrone would be able to negate the influence of Michael Murphy, Ryan McHugh and Jamie Brennan, I would have said the Red Hands would win. Two weeks ago in the National League meeting between the sides, those three players were outstanding, scoring 1-11 between them. On Sunday, that was reduced to 0-2.

With that in mind, you would have expected Tyrone to be able to kick on.

But it was two lesser lights – for want of a better term – in Michael Langan and Ciarán Thompson that really stood up for Declan Bonner. The quality of their scores was exceptional.

Tyrone on the other hand will rue the chances that they had in the final 10 minutes. They panicked with their shooting at times; wrong options were taken. And they will live to regret that. They had the wind going into the last 10 minutes.

They had Donegal on the ropes, but couldn’t find that knockout blow.

The midfield and the kick-out stats went in Donegal’s favour.

Tyrone needed to push up in the second half when they had the breeze, and to be more aggressive on Shaun Patton’s restarts. Patton found his target eight times in-a-row at the start of the second half.

And it was only when Tyrone pushed up and Frank Burns, who had played as a sweeper, moved forward on the opposition restart, they had more joy.

But in a game of fine margins, refereeing calls can tip the balance. I know the Tyrone lads were very disappointed that a number of calls went against them in that regard.

But over the course of the match, you have to acknowledge that Donegal did enough.

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