WHATEVER blood-letting went on between the Dublin players over their weekend, it seems Michael Carton’s optimism remains unharmed.
Asked whether Dublin’s season has been derailed beyond immediate repair, he was as stoic as any man who played on Saturday in Tullamore possibly could be.
“Absolutely not,” Carton stated.
“The team is stronger than that. We can’t wait to get out and play again.”
Thus, their seasonal aim remains in tact?
“We wouldn’t be here if you don’t think you can win the All-Ireland. That’s obviously the aim but we have to get over the next round first.”
Pressed as to whether he felt the team had let their new manager down, Carton was keen to broaden the scope of their disappointment.
“We let Ger down, but we
also let ourselves down on
the day and all the supporters,” he admitted.
“No one wants to see us play like that, especially us.”
And Carton was very much in the thick of it.
Having admitted early in the season to never having played full-back before whilst manning the number three spot in the League, he was landed with that responsibility last Saturday in the absence of Peter Kelly (inset).
As such, he had a very clear view of the unfolding horror.
“It was a very strong wind. They just opened up the spaces in our back line.
“Three goals so quickly, it’s just very hard to overcome. Hard to put your finger on it.
“Their confidence was sky high after the start they had.
“Most of the things they were trying was coming off.
“They are one of the most skilful teams in Ireland. It was a tough day out.”
Cunningham indicated he would look at his panel and attempt some class of strengthening, but in Dublin, there aren’t the same depth of options.
“We’ll just keep our eyes on the next game,” said Carton when asked as to the immediate plan. “You can’t look past it because as I said there’s a lot of very good teams that are going to be in the draw for the back door so you can’t really look past them.
“That’d be detrimental.
“We just have to concentrate on ourselves,” the O’Toole’s defender concluded, “and not worry about who we’re getting.
“Because that’s out of our control.”