Dubs hurling boss gives his thoughts on variety of topics as Rebels clash looms
HIS INITIAL PERCEPTION OF DUBLIN
"It's hard to remember. People were saying it wasn't a bad move because they weren't in Munster. There was a nice bit of work done, nice raw material to work with and you were going away from taking on Galway and Limerick, who were on your border.
"There would be rivalry, real rivalry there but as it turned out we've played Clare twice in championship and could meet again. Look, sure we've had plenty of dark moments as well. It's easy talking here today when we know we are in a semi-final and we are Leinster champions but there has been plenty of times you be driving home saying, 'go away back with you and fill porter, will ya'."
. . . CHANGING DUBLIN'S STATE OF MIND
"Changing that can be hard going but if you give up, you give up, but if you stay at it, you stay at it.
"Has it changed for good? I don't know. People said it has changed for good after winning the league but we slipped back. Everyone said it would have changed for good with Clare, surely after winning the 1997 minor and senior on the same day, but Clare have won (just) one more Munster Championship to this day."
. . . MANAGING DUBLIN'S SQUAD
"Fellas like Conor McCormack, lost his starting place the last couple of games, (but are) playing well in training, Mark Schutte playing really well, Eamon Dillon playing really well.
"Lads, fellas like Chris Crummy and Kevin Byrne that weren't in the 26 pushing hard, you know. So, I think they all saw it as the end of a Championship and then the start of a new Championship, especially with the five weeks in-a-row thing, it was going to be very hard for anyone to get in.
"You don't make too many changes if things are going okay, so they found it hard. Obviously we are using the same 20. Then they saw there was a week off. They went back to the gyms most of them on the Wednesday. That's the way they do it now. We used to take the week (off) when we got the chance.
"Probably they went back at it as if 'here I am going to give this a real shot myself' and that's what you want - the matches have been good like."
. . . SELECTION ISSUES
"There were a few on the A team that haven't featured too often (in training). It's one of the things that the boys asked us to do at the start of the year, was to reward performance more, that maybe we had to look at last year, that we put too much store on the guys from 2011.
"There was so much talk about the 'three cruciates' last year and maybe we fed into that and there were lads playing well in training maybe didn't get enough. We tried to do that this year, if a fella has shown form he goes up the ladder and I think in general we have tried to do that."