Philly McMahon: 'If I get all these accusations against me and I win an All-Ireland, I don't give a s**t'
IT'S not the first time this season Philly McMahon has taken one of football's biggest reputations to the cleaners and it's not the first time he's had to defend himself over accusations of skullduggery afterwards either.
"Talking to friends and family, I should be talking about keeping one of the best footballers in decades scoreless, but now I'm talking about something that if I did connect with his face, I didn't intentionally do it," he admitted after media scrutiny of the incident in which McMahon makes contact with the face of Kieran Donaghy in Sunday's final.
"And look it, there was loads of incidents on the pitch but it's unfortunate that mine always gets brought up.
"But it's a part of the game and I have to accept it. If I get all these accusations against me and I win an All-Ireland, I don't give a s**t, to be honest.
"As defenders we have a tough job, we're reacting to the forwards and constantly chasing somebody," McMahon points out.
"It's a tough game, playing as a defender and I've so much respect for defenders, and especially Dublin defenders.
"When we step up and we mark, we look the man in the eye and we're saying, 'We're going to war today, me and you, and let's see who comes out on the top end'.
"We don't have seven or eight men in our defence supporting us, we go man on man and go to war.
"That's what I love about the set up we have and it really does make you want to be better as a defender."
McMahon acknowledges that the thing didn't look pretty on television but maintains his innocence.
"To be honest I saw a little bit of it on the Sunday Game and yeah, it probably did (look bad), but there was no intention whatsoever to do that.
"If you look at it, the ball drops and I put my hand in to try to grab the ball, the ball slipped out of his right side and I tried to go in again with the left hand.
"That's what happened."
Otherwise, it was a pristine season from McMahon, out-playing and even out-scoring both Colm Cooper and Aidan O'Shea in successive big games in September.
"I'd like to think I look af ter myself and I'm in good physical condition, and mentally I think it's a massive challenge for the forwards, isn't it?
"They don't want to think about defending, really," he notes.
"So it's no different for them, trying to get us defenders into uncomfortable positions. I try to do the same for them.
"But I've really enjoyed marking players this year, I don't think I've...I may be wrong but I don't think I've marked a man who has scored more than a point off me, so it's been a really successful year, this year."