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Friday 30 September 2016

Dubs focus on missed chances

Gavin insists players remain 'passionate' about Leinster

Dublin manager Jim Gavin speaks at the Gibson Hotel in Dublin yesterday. Picture Credit: Sportsfile
Dublin manager Jim Gavin speaks at the Gibson Hotel in Dublin yesterday. Picture Credit: Sportsfile

Sloppy is a word Jim Gavin declined to use in describing those less-than-slick patches in both of Dublin's Championship matches this summer, though he did reveal that his team's conversion rate from scoring chances was one specific area they had devoted their time to since.

"I'd say probably a little inconsistent," he said, having selected the appropriate adjective.

"That inconsistency is there.

"I thought against Meath, particularly in the opening quarter, we created a lot of chances, they played with nearly 13 men behind the ball," he recalled.

"But we still created scoring opportunities; we didn't take them which was the disappointing thing. That's what we've been working on, on the training park over the last while.

"So if we can tighten up that end of it, I think the performances will improve."

This invited the inevitable suggestion that improvement is hardly needed for Dublin to turn in a sixth Leinster title on the trot, given they will face a side who ply their spring trade in Division 4 next season.

A side who, last summer, Dublin beat by 13 points at their leisure in the Leinster final.

"That performance against Meath and against Laois just doesn't happen," Dublin boss pointed out.

"A lot of work goes in by the players, by the management team, the coaching staff and the support team.

"Teams just don't turn up and win games, a lot of hard work goes on in the shadows before that and Laois would have been very well prepared.

"Meath would have been very well prepared against us and I'm sure Westmeath will be well prepared.

"We understand that we have to perform in the Leinster final to get the result and take the path that we want to take.

"If we don't turn up," Gavin added, "Westmeath will certainly ask questions of us."

Passionate

Quite how coveted a Leinster title is by a group who have won so many is open to question.

Stephen Cluxton, for instance, is going for his 12th provincial medal.

"Maybe from the outside in, that would seem the case," Gavin noted.

"But these boys are passionate about the Leinster Championship.

"They want to retain the Delaney Cup. It's something that they've spoken about. It means a lot to them.

"And I'm sure it means a lot to…people in Athlone, Moate, Mullingar - they'll be travelling to Dublin to see their boys go home with the cup so it means as much to us as it does Westmeath."

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