Tuesday 27 September 2016

Championship is primary focus for Dublin - Cian O'Sullivan

Published 14/04/2015 | 02:30

Cian O'Sullivan, Dublin
Cian O'Sullivan, Dublin
We've room to improve - Cian O'Sullivan

Dublin star Cian O'Sullivan insists preparing for a long championship summer and not winning a third consecutive league title is their priority ahead of Sunday week's National League decider against Cork in Croke Park.

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A one-point win over Monaghan leaves them 70 minutes away from becoming only the fourth side to win the league three years in a row.

And despite being so close to joining an exclusive club, the Kilmacud Crokes man has his focus firmly on the Dubs' championship campaign which starts on May 31 against the winners of Longford's clash with Offaly.

"We wouldn't set out at the start of the year and put a league title as our primary aim." O'Sullivan admitted. "It's more just a by-product of getting strong performances. I think in the last couple of years in the league, that's what we focused on and a league title has been the result.

"That's not saying it's not a fantastic achievement … it is. And to get three in a row would be great. But the primary focus for us is performance and making sure the team is in as good shape as possible come summer."

O'Sullivan has struggled with injury in recent weeks but played the opening 44 minutes of Sunday's win over the Farney.

And despite managing a one-point win after trailing late in the game, O'Sullivan believes the Dubs were poor in several aspects of their play.

"There was a lot of passing errors and handling errors and we let ourselves down in a number of areas on a number of occasions," he stressed.

"It was just one of those days really. We'll definitely be looking at it to try and address why exactly that was the case.

"It's one of those things in sport. It happens sometimes and it just spreads throughout the team. Just a lack of concentration, I guess."

Injury forced Rory O'Carroll and Bernard Brogan out of Sunday's semi-final, meaning Jim Gavin has yet to have all his big guns on the field together for any length of time.

However, Alan Brogan has returned to the set-up having delayed his comeback. And O'Sullivan believes the Oliver Plunketts clubman is a "fantastic" addition.

"We were all hoping that he'd come back. He's a fantastic player and a great lad to have around."

Irish Independent

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