Friday 21 October 2016

Murphy on guard for savvy Dubs

Champions aren't just brilliant players but tactically smart too

Donegal captain Michael Murphy. Pic: Sportsfile
Donegal captain Michael Murphy. Pic: Sportsfile

Dublin aren't just "unbelievable" footballers but streetwise too, says Michael Murphy.

The Donegal skipper has lavished praise on their tactical acumen in the run-up to tomorrow evening's All-Ireland SFC quarter-final at a packed Croke Park.

While Jim Gavin's crew were branded naive after being ambushed by Donegal in 2014, they're seen as a different beast now - more patient and defensively streetwise, and just as determined as Donegal when it comes to nullifying the opposing danger men.

"Any team, in any sport, is going to do that," said Murphy. "You have to look at the strengths that teams bring and you're going to try and negate them as best you can.

"Dublin aren't there for just being unbelievable footballers - which they are. They're tactically very, very smart. They've a very smart management team; they've very smart footballers also.

"Maybe people don't see that quite a lot, but you know it when you're out playing," he added.

"It's nothing more than we expect. But again, I keep going back to it: I do have full belief in what we can bring to the table, and I have full belief in the ways and means that we can bring it around.

"It's up to us now, as a group of footballers here in Donegal, to go down the road to Croke Park and to bring it."

Even though the All-Ireland holders are a short-priced 1/6 with the bookies, Murphy said he "wouldn't be sitting here" if he didn't believe Donegal could beat the odds.

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