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Tuesday 12 December 2017

Dublin boos and Model blues

PAT Gilroy's response to Dublin's 'startled earwig' impression against Kerry the previous August was to drastically overhaul his team and impose a new defensive system. The revamp worked well in the league only to hit an early summer speed bump.

Now skippered by David Henry, Dublin trailed by 0-8 to 0-2 at the break, and later by seven points; but they somehow battled back to parity even while having Denis Bastick and Ger Brennan sent off. Restored to 15 men for extra-time, they kicked on to win by seven, aided by a 2-4 haul from Bernard Brogan.

FORDE: "I hurt my back just after the last league game in 2009 and had the operation that May. Dublin was my first competitive match back ... I knew I wasn't physically fit enough or aerobically fit enough; I was a bit apprehensive about the game. I managed to last the whole thing, but I definitely wasn't up to where I needed to be."

HENRY: "Pat was trying something very different, and I'm not sure everybody really understood whether this was the way that we should be playing. In that game, it probably wasn't very clear to all the players even what exactly we wanted to do. It was the early part of the journey of understanding the system. We got over it, but we were lucky to get over it."

MORRISSEY: "I remember going in at half-time and Dublin were booed off the field. Things were a little bit new for them at the time, and we were starting to impose our game-plan on them -- Dublin's zonal marking wasn't really working to counteract our running game."

HENRY: "It (the boos) was definitely something you'd remember alright.

"But having said that, maybe in a way it brought us together after that game. It probably made us realise that we couldn't be relying on outside influences from supporters or whatever.

"It was kind of understandable that the supporters were pretty annoyed because it was such a bad performance, but it probably brought us together. It was really the start of things and because we had such bad performances in those two games (against Wexford and Meath), it was either totally buy into what the manager was trying to get us to do, or else not do it at all."

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