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Gilroy in control - Senan

DUBLIN won't fall foul of the All-Ireland quarter-final curse, according to former Sky Blue Senan Connell.

Both of the two most recent All-Ireland Champions have suffered shock defeats on the August Bank Holiday weekend but Connell is adamant that Dublin possess "the best manager in Ireland," in Pat Gilroy.

"This is where the last two All-Ireland Champions have stumbled, but Kerry had three key players suspended two years ago against Down and Cork had three injured last year against Mayo," Connell told the Herald.

"All the talk of the 'easy route' will have been quelled. It all comes down to the manager and the experienced players, the likes of Alan Brogan, Barry Cahill and Bryan Cullen (pictured left).

"They have been around a long time and they know the pitfalls of looking too far ahead. I'm just hoping Alan will be fit because without him, I don't think they're near as good."

Gilroy's charges have been installed as Sam Maguire favourites having been drawn on the perceived 'easy' side of the All-Ireland quarter-final bracket although their form to date has left some questioning their ability to put back-to-back All-Irelands together.

"I'm happy enough that everyone else has been critical about their performances," Connell insisted.

"The time to be ruthless is from here on in, like they were against Tyrone, Donegal and Kerry last year."