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Monday 18 December 2017

Nolan: Time for Dubs to step up

THURLES? Bring it on! That's the upbeat message from Alan Nolan as the Dublin hurlers seek to relaunch their stuttering championship campaign with a daunting trip to Tipp this weekend.

Nolan is far more concerned that Dublin relocate top form rather than the actual location for Sunday's All-Ireland SHC quarter-final (throw-in 4.0).

While Tipperary fans are sure to heavily outnumber the travelling Sky Blue cohorts in Semple Stadium, the Dublin 'keeper is happy to embrace the away-day challenge.

"We're heading to Thurles with our backs to the wall, and we can only come out fighting. And if we don't, our season is over," he warned.

"If someone was to tell you 'You're going to be playing in Semple Stadium against Tipperary in an All-Ireland quarter-final' ... it's an amazing feeling, an amazing fixture, and you could have no complaints. It's a serious field, a serious venue, so you can only embrace it."

Nolan, who has brilliantly deputised for the injured Gary Maguire this summer, believes now is the time for Dublin to banish the inconsistency that blighted their quest for back-to-back Leinster titles, resulting in a 12-point trimming by Kilkenny earlier this month.

Frustrating

"Of course it's frustrating. Everyone wants to go out and play well, and unfortunately sometimes it just doesn't happen.

"But that's what you have to strive towards - consistency - and we've a chance to do it next Sunday," he outlined.

"Your season's either done or you're getting yourself set up (for a semi-final) so you've to treat it as your last game of the year and you have to come out fighting, as if it is the last game. And then see where the result takes you."

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