Armagh hobbled off the Breffni Park surface on Saturday afternoon after a devastatingly disappointing display.
During the opening quarter they battled hard and created opportunities, but Donegal showed they were step above their opponents.
Kieran McGeeney was both dismayed and disappointed by his sides showing and gave an honest assessment of what he had just witnessed.
“We didn’t have a cut at them in the first half, standing still. Especially in the first period we had loads of scoring chances, one-on-one positions and we didn’t go at them and that was probably the most disheartening thing”.
“In the second period they were trying to squeeze passes in and against a first division team…. that’s what’s happened us this year, we just haven’t got punished to the same degree, 1-7 to one point in that second quarter.
I’d have been very disappointed in the second quarter, we just, we didn’t have a go at them at all and they weren’t in their customary defensive shape.
We had chances to go at them and have the players to go at them, but we just didn’t do it”.
Geezer did pay compliments to Donegal, who now look best placed to challenge the Dubs for their All-Ireland crown, “They’re a quality team”.
“From our point of view, we’ve had a decent year and we’re doing so well but for the first time this year I just thought we were very, very timid, very meek, didn’t have a go at them, standing still soloing the ball.
Really disappointing stuff and it’s not what we trained to do, so it’s very hard to watch.
In the past we’ve had teams that wouldn’t have the capabilities to go at teams, but we do at the minute and that’s probably the most disappointing part”.
While Armagh were well off the pace on Saturday, their manager still believes they have the players to challenge at this level and takes responsibility for their poor display.
“You learn a lot of things in Division One. How you play football off the ball as well as how you play on it, and we have a lot of lesson to learn in that area too.
I would have said a couple of years ago that we wouldn’t have the team (to compete), some of those players were present and I do believe they are a different sort of bunch now.
When you’re presented with a one-on-one situation and you’re a good player, you should at least have the courage to take the man on to test him.
They’re all top-class defenders, but you should have that ability to at least try him, to be able to take him on.
I think it’s a good lesson for the boys, but a harsh one”.
I do believe the buck stops with the manager, the leader. That’s my job to be able to do it.
We have one All-Ireland in the bag in 140 years, but I do think we have the players that can compete at that level. I genuinely do.
There’s a reason why teams aren’t also at the top and abilities not always that. We have pundits out there that tell you it’s the cream of the crop.
It’s not, you have to commit to something and we’re getting there, we are getting there”.