Tuesday 17 October 2017

Sean Cavanagh and Tomás Ó Sé in agreement on how Mayo should deal with Stephen Cluxton's kick-outs

Stephen Cluxton
Stephen Cluxton
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Sean Cavanagh and Tomás Ó Sé are in agreement as to how Mayo should deal with one of Dublin's most potent weapons, Stephen Cluxton's kick-outs... concede them.

The 35-year-old's tactical brilliance and laser-like accuracy has bamboozled many teams over the past few years.

He has been rattled in the past.

In last year's All-Ireland semi-final replay victory over Kerry and the 2015 All-Ireland football decider against the same opposition, Cluxton did make some high profile errors that led to scores for the opposition.

Dublin's retention level of Cluxton kick-outs is above 80pc, no other team can boast these kind of figures, and the speed with which he can dispatch kick-outs means that Jim Gavin's men are often scoring within 20 seconds of conceding.

Speaking on the Sunday Game last night, Cavanagh and Ó Sé said that Mayo should not push up and pressurise Cluxton.

"I would concede it, particularly at the start, possibly later in the game if things open up and they're going for it, then push up," Cavanagh said

"I think Cluxton gets away so quickly and he has a great range of kicking, he's very difficult to push up on.

"We tried to push up in a zonal fashion against Cluxton and what was really impressive was Dublin spotted that and they were able to get a number of people to a certain zone and pull one of our men out and then Cluxton knew eactly where to hit and put it on a six pence.

Ó Sé added: "I agree with Sean, I think you concede it. I think you waste a lot of energy trying to push up on Cluxton. He's the key for Dublin in so many ways. He's their springboard. It's all about possession. He's the guy that makes them tick.

"I would drop out beyond the 21 and build a wall there and it will be a lot tougher for the Dubs to break down. No matter what way it goes, Cluxton seems to be able to crack it all."

Ó Sé wants to see Mayo go long with their own kick-outs to try and catch out the Dublin rearguard before they get time to organise fully.

"I'd like to see Mayo taking risks with long ball around the middle because if they get in behind Dublin, will be organised, but they won't have a flood of players back as they could have."

Cavanagh believes that Dublin will try to heap pressure on Mayo netminder David Clarke on his restarts.

"Dublin will attack David Clarke's kick-outs. David will look to clip it to either side of his defence. He kicks with the in-step and doesn't have the same range of a Cluxton or a Morgan or a Hennelly even. He's a great goalkeeper but I have no doubt that Dublin will look to push on that."

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