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cooper: we are minding house

THEY were plundered for three goals in the space of 70 madcap minutes against Donegal last August - but in ten league and championship outings so far this year, Dublin have coughed up a measly four in total.

And according to one of their defensive linchpins, Jonny Cooper (left), this is all due to a more conscious attempt to "protect the goal".

"I think we're conscious of that," said Cooper, reflecting on Dublin's concession of four green flags in nine NFL ties, followed by a clean sheet against Longford.

"If we don't learn from our past experiences and past games, be it defeats or wins, then conceding goals is a big part of playing the game.

"And, yeah, we do take pride in it. It's our patch. Forwards try to score and we try to defend. The art of defending is a skill. And that's our skill," he added.

Dublin will aim to maintain that miserly record against Kildare in Sunday's second Leinster SFC semi-final at Croke Park (4.0).

"I don't think we've changed a whole pile in terms of game-plan and everything else. I think we're just a lot more conscious of each other and the people around us," Cooper concluded.