Tuesday 25 October 2016

Dubs boss Jim Gavin: 'We had a job to do, we did that and move on'

Alan Brogan at the final whistle
Alan Brogan at the final whistle
paul flynn

IT is not Jim Gavin's job to serve up a thrilling Leinster spectacle that keeps us all guessing until the final whistle.

It is Gavin's job to coax the best from this multi-talented group, and if that means 27-point hammerings that leave the audience craving something more ... so be it.

The Dublin manager was asked yesterday if such one-sided matches were good for the championship? He replied, typically, with the straightest of bats.

"We are starting our campaign and we simply had a job to do today, and that was to win. And we did that and now we move on," Gavin replied.

Not a whole lot more worth adding, really? From a Dublin perspective, there was probably as much interest yesterday in who was not playing and whether they might be fit for a semi-final against Kildare or Laois in four weeks' time.

On that score, Gavin made optimistic noises about Rory O'Carroll (hamstring), Cian O'Sullivan (similar ailment) and James McCarthy (toe).

He said O'Sullivan was "not too far away. Himself and Rory are very close now, so it's really on medical advice and, above all then, what the player feels. We've always treated it that way. If they feel they are able to come back, they come back; and if they don't, then we give them more time ... hopefully they will be coming back to me saying 'Yeah, they are ready to go after the club championships'."

Gavin had confirmed there was a chance that both O'Sullivan and O'Carroll could play for Kilmacud in the Dublin SFC this week before the word emerged that the Dublin County Board CCC had postponed their clash with Ballyboen St Enda's owing to the replay of the Leinster SHC quarter-final.

"They are with the clubs and we'll assist with that process. Once they are back with those clubs, we want our players to play."

On the subject of McCarthy's injury, sustained in a recent challenge match against Clare, the Dublin boss revealed: "James has really improved over the last number of weeks. The 26-man rule forced the hand a number of ways. If we had named him and he wasn't fit, someone else would lose out. That rule will probably deny a couple of guys a chance to represent their counties."

Neither Philly McMahon nor Diarmuid Connolly resurfaced for the second half, but Gavin subsequently confirmed that both substitutions were tactical.

However, his opposite number - Jack Sheedy - had some fresh injury woes to compound this crushing defeat.

Play was held up for nearly six minutes near the end after Ross McNerney collided with teammate Pauric Gill; Dublin's Darren Daly was also caught up in the accidental bottleneck.

"Ross is gone to the Mater with his dad. He got a smack on the cheekbone just under the eye … he's not concussed so we are hoping that he's okay," Sheedy revealed, although he said there was a "possibility" that he had suffered a fracture. "He just felt a bit dizzy from the collision. I think he caught someone's knee or hip or something like that," the Longford boss added.

As for the possibility that some players might head overseas instead of waiting for the qualifiers, Sheedy concluded: "It's going to be disappointing if lads head away. But that's the lure, particularly for lads in college. Some of them will get offers to go and have a good summer.

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