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Friday 15 December 2017

Gilroy: We must do better

PAT GILROY has laid down the gauntlet to his All-Ireland champions on the cusp of a new season - improve or say goodbye to Sam.

Dublin open their Allianz League campaign tomorrow night with an enticing Croke Park rematch of last September's nail-biting success against Kerry. But on the bigger question of defending their All-Ireland title, Gilroy (left) said there is "no question" that his team must improve.

"We'd be very honest with ourselves. In the last two games of the championship last year, it was great to win them but we didn't exactly shoot the lights out in the way we played," the Dublin boss admitted this morning.

"We went through big patches in both matches where we were awful. We were probably the worst we were during the year.

"We turned it around in both games and played quite well in patches, but that wouldn't be enough," he stressed.

"They're very tight margins to win -- a semi-final by two and a final by one. Clearly, if we did that again, it would be asking a lot to be recovering from the positions we were in."

Gilroy has handed Kilmacud's Craig Dias his competitive debut for tomorrow's 'Spring Series' opener while he confirmed today that Bryan Cullen will retain the captaincy this year.

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