A statistic that won't sit well. . .
Published 06/02/2013 | 14:33
IT'S a statistic that won't sit well with all associated with the senior football team but Kerry's failure to score in the second half of their Allianz League defeat to Mayo last Sunday should be a spur to energise the team for the visit of Dublin to Killarney this Sunday.
It's almost 50 years since a Kerry team suffered the same fate in a national league game and it's up to manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice and his selectors to turn that negative into something positive.
Fitzmaurice was clearly disappointed with the manner of the defeat in Castlebar but he offered no excuses for the defeat other than that Kerry came off second best against a well prepared, sharper Mayo team.
Attention quickly shifts to the visit of Dublin to Killarney on Sunday and Fitzmaurice knows that the players simply need to regroup and show marked inprovement on the performance, whatever about the result.
"We have to regroup and look forward to next weekend. It was always going to be a tough fixture with Dublin coming down having played so well [against Cork], us having played so poorly today," Fitzmaurice said in the aftermath of the defeat to Mayo. "Looking for points next weekend it makes it tougher but we have no excuses."
Kerry will have Tomas O Se available again after the defender was unavailable last weekend, but they will be without midfielder Johnny Buckley who returns to Dr Crokes for their imminent All-Ireland Club SFCsemi-final on Saturday week.
Meanwhile, the GAA has fixed Sunday's game in Fitzgerald Stadium for 2pm, which means there will be an overlap between the Kerry versus Dublin game and Ireland's Six Nations match against England, which kicks off at 3pm.
It had been thought that the GAA might bring forward the Kerry match to facilitate those who would want to see both the League match and the rugby game but that did not happen.
The 2pm throw-in in Killarney will suit Eamonn Fitzmaurice better, though, as he plays with Finuge in Croke Park on Saturday.