Kieran McGeeney: Manager hails Armagh belief after big Derry win

Armagh manager Kieran McGeeney said his players were able to “stop listening to the noise” and believe in themselves which resulted in a memorable victory in Celtic Park.

The team’s 3-17 to 0-15 win over Derry, who had been expected to respond to back-to-back championship defeats, was one of the county’s best performances of the McGeeney era and puts them in a strong position to reach the All-Ireland SFC quarter-finals.

“You can’t say they were two evenly-matched sides (with Donegal) and one was as good as the other because that stuff doesn’t sell,” he said.

“So the noise they would hear, whether it’s me or putting on subs and all that stuff, you know it’s a personal thing and to be able to block that out and understand you were there or thereabouts over the last two years, well you’d have to be very happy with the result.”

For a team that has had to absorb more than its fair share of narrow defeats and bad luck, mental toughness and resilience are good calling cards for McGeeney’s side to inherit.

“It’s a very slim margin as we’ve seen over the last two years (losing to Derry and Donegal in Ulster finals),” said McGeeney.

“One point in any direction would have made you a wee bit, I suppose, easier in terms of the story being written but these fellas just keep coming back and keep pushing and you have to admire them for that.”

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