Cathal McCarron: Tyrone defender set to miss Dublin game because of knee injury

Cathal McCarron on the way to receiving medical treatment at Croke Park after being injured in Saturday's thumping win over Roscommon
Cathal McCarron had to be substituted after only 19 minutes of Saturday's thumping win over Roscommon
All-Ireland Football SFC Super 8s: Tyrone v Dublin
Date: Saturday, 21 July Venue: Healy Park, Omagh Throw-in: 19:00 BST Coverage: Live on Radio Ulster 1341 MW and BBC Sport website

Tyrone defender Cathal McCarron looks certain to miss Saturday's big Super 8s game against Dublin after suffering a knee injury in the win over Roscommon.

McCarron has still to undergo a scan after hobbling off early in Saturday's facile win but boss Mickey Harte is planning without the defender.

"It wouldn't look like he'll be available for this week, for sure," said the Tyrone manager.

"It's a knee injury, so we would be concerned about it."

Harte revealed that an x-ray did not ascertain how much damage McCarron's left knee had sustained but the news is more positive over Colm Cavanagh who should be fit after sustaining a shin gash in Saturday contest.

"He's (McCarron) had an x-ray, which doesn't tell you an awful lot, but he has to get a scan on it, so we won't know until the scan is done."

Hugh Pat McGeary came on for McCarron in the Super 8s opener where Tyrone went on to record a thumping 4-24 to 2-12 victory.

Omagh game build-up 'like an All-Ireland Final'

Tyrone's stunning scoreline against the Rossies has only increased the anticipation levels for Saturday's game at Healy Park.

The Red Hand County PRO Eugene McConnell quipped on Tuesday that the build-up to the contest seems "almost like an All-Ireland Final".

"It's just mental. There are a lot of things to do around this fixture," said the Tyrone official.

While there have been reports that Dublin's ticket requirements could see the All-Ireland champions' supporters outnumbering Tyrone fans at Healy Park, McConnell said that details of the precise number of travelling fans had not yet come through from Croke Park.

However, the game looks certain to be an 18,500 sell-out.

Manager Harte says the occasion represents a "wonderful opportunity" for his team.

"To have them in Omagh in a championship match will be a very unique experience. It's great to be part of unique experiences," added the Tyrone boss.

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We have to believe - Harte

We must believe we can beat Dubs - Harte

Harte is urging his players to have the belief that they can overturn the 2-17 to 0-11 hammering inflicted on them by the Dubs in last year's All-Ireland semi-final.

"We have to believe we can beat anybody. If we didn't believe that, what would be the point in going to do it?

"Having the belief and doing it are two different things, I'll grant you that, but we must believe we are good enough to beat anybody who is put in front of us."

"We have to do so much better than we did last year or we will not be very happy about it at all.

"We have to try and correct some of the things we didn't do well and make a battle of it. If we can do that, it will be a great experience whatever the outcome."

Winner will edge closer to semi-finals

After both teams won their Super 8s opener, the victor in Saturday's contest will edge closer to a semi-finals place although qualification from Group 2 looks unlikely to be decided until the final round of games a week later.

Having notched 3-20 in their hammering of Cork a week earlier, the Red Hands have notched an amazing 7-44 in their last two games - quite a tally for a team that has been accused of lacking genuine scoring forwards.

"I never fully understood how they made those observations but they did that and that's there prerogative to do so," added Harte.

"There are many different ways to play the game to be effective. I think we have discovered a way that suits us pretty well."