Wednesday 7 December 2016

They wanted it more, a few of us need to look in the mirror - Cooper

Published 19/01/2016 | 02:30

Dublin footballer Jonny Cooper. Photo: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE
Dublin footballer Jonny Cooper. Photo: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE

Johnny Cooper believes Dublin's shock O'Byrne Cup semi-final defeat to Longford will serve as a serious wake-up call as Jim Gavin's side embark on their quest for a fourth successive League crown later this month.

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The tigerish defender had no qualms with the defeat and acknowledged that they will have to learn lessons ahead of Kerry's visit to Croke Park on Saturday, January 30 for the floodlit opener.

"They were just better, cleaner, sharper. I'd probably put it down to them wanting it more," Cooper said. "That's still no excuse whenever you put on a Dublin jersey.

"There are a few people who needed to look in the mirror the following day, myself included. It just wasn't good enough across the board. You can make any excuse but it wasn't good enough.

"We have Kerry in two weeks' time so if we thought we were doing everything right, maybe we have to re-evaluate and have a look in the mirror again and see where we're at."

The Na Fianna clubman also welcomed the appointment of All-Ireland-winning captain Bryan Cullen as high perfomance manager with Dublin GAA and is "excited" to work with him.

"I think it was great foresight from the county board," Cooper said. "He ticks a lot of boxes that would fit that particular role and it's exciting and we're excited to work with him.

"I think all of Dublin GAA should be excited about what he's going to bring to the table and get everybody singing off the same hymn sheet.

"In a couple of years' time, the challenges there now will be a little bit easier for coaches in the senior set-up."

Irish Independent

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