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Derry still haunted by defeat to Donegal in Ulster, says Cavanagh

Seán Cavanagh believes that Derry carried the psychological scars of earlier championship defeats into Sunday's All-Ireland quarter-final defeat to Kerry.

The Kingdom ran out 0-15 to 0-10 winners over Derry at Croke Park in a game that never really sparked into life.

Derry in particular were strangely listless and managed to only tack on four points in a dour second-half performance.

Expectations were high for the Northerners coming into the championship, particularly given their league final triumph over Dublin but they failed to ever reach the heights expected of them.

'Since they won the league final they've been very disjointed'

Seán Cavanagh and Cora Staunton discuss Derry's failing in this year's championship #RTEGAA

A shock defeat in the Ulster championship to Donegal back in April marked the start of a big downward spiral for Derry and they followed that up with All-Ireland defeats to Galway and Armagh.

Speaking on the Sunday Game, Cavanagh claimed that Micky Harte’s men never recovered from that reversal at Celtic Park and that psychologically they haven’t been the same side since then.

"I think Derry played with fear and maybe they sort of showed the scars of the humiliating defeats they probably have taken against big teams," Cavanagh said as he looked back on their quarter-final exit.

"They played that containment style football that ultimately, when it came down to that last 10 or 15 minutes and the game was there to be won, those physical and mental scars really showed up and they weren't ready to win.

"They were almost content to lose the game.

"When they came up against an amazing Donegal performance that night in Celtic Park in the first round of the championship, the humiliation of that