'We must bring our A-game' - Beggan
IT'S one of the strangest conceivable ways to reach a league semi-final - losing at home by 11 points - but at least Monaghan goalkeeper Rory Beggan (above) can spy some positive lessons from Sunday's mauling by Dublin, writes Frank Roche.
The fact that their looming semi-final comes against the same rampant opposition should focus minds - especially as Monaghan know exactly where they went wrong in Clones.
"They (Dublin) probably have been a wee bit inconsistent in the league but they showed glimpses against Mayo and against us what they can do as well," last year's All Star nominee admitted.
"You can't really give them that space because they will kick it over the bar. They're known for punishing teams, and we got punished for stupid mistakes.
"We want to put it right next week and we know what we have to do, to do that. It's just about getting it done really."
Even in heavy defeat, Monaghan's progress to the last-four was sealed by a brace of draws elsewhere involving fellow play-off rivals Donegal, Mayo and Kerry. If you are to glean positives from the wreckage of a 1-22 to 1-11 setback, it would be how the team initially responded to an early 1-2 salvo from the visitors, making a decent contest of it for much of the first half.
"We showed great character to get back into it a bit, but you have to be on your A-game to beat Dublin. We weren't … so hopefully we can next week," Beggan ventured.
"Any time you get to Croke Park, you take it in your stride. At this time of the year to get there is very good for Monaghan, and hopefully get a result and a league final. We're all preparing for championship (against Cavan) on May 24, so we want to get as many good performances as we can ahead of it."