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Stuttering Dubs must raise game – Kevlihan

Dublin manager Cyril Kevlihan was quick to acknowledge the need for improvement as he assessed his side's Leinster Minor Football League final victory over Kildare at the weekend.

The Dubs failed to hit their stride throughout a relatively subdued performance with Kevlihan conscious that a greater consistency is required if last year's provincial and national honours are to be replicated.

"We were very happy to get the victory and continue our unbeaten run but naturally there are things that we need to work on as we prepare for the championship," said Kevlihan.

"It wasn't the perfect performance and we got the rub of the green in terms of the timing of the goals which never allowed Kildare to stage a comeback.

"We were on the back foot for a fair part of the second half but Kildare are a high quality team who played exceptionally for large parts of the game so to get the win under those circumstances was very encouraging," said Kevlihan.

Those two late strikes from Colm Basquel and Killian Sheanon maintained Dublin's 100pc record in the provincial league following previous group wins over Tipperary, Westmeath and Longford.

The three aforementioned wins were of a reasonably narrow nature and Kevlihan has been pleased with the manner in which his panel has eked out results over the course of the spring.

"We've had some good competitive games in the league and Kildare on Saturday was no different. We have the height of respect for them and I expect them to figure prominently in the championship, but we still managed to stay in the game all the time and that reflects well on our character.

"Continuing our unbeaten run breeds confidence within the panel and I think the way in which we have finished games strongly is a very good trait to have.

"But I'd be the first to acknowledge that it was only the league and the championship is a totally new and different competition," offered the Thomas Davis clubman.

Despite not being the finished article, Dublin can look forward with a degree of optimism before taking their championship bow in six weeks' time, and that time will be used to further develop and enhance the structure that has served Kevlihan well in recent weeks.

"We are working all the time on our collective performance and working on things that we can improve or change to our benefit.

"There is a great ambition within the panel and we will always strive to produce more consistent displays and we will continue to do that," he concluded.

The Dubs will continue their preparations with their next competitive outing scheduled for April 13 when they travel to Louth in the opening round of the Electric Ireland Leinster MFC.