Cunningham disappointed by O'Carroll's club call but 'door always open'
Dublin hurling manager Ger Cunningham has admitted that he was left "surprised" and "disappointed" with Ross O'Carroll's decision to opt out of selection for the inter-county panel.
O'Carroll recently informed the management of his wish to concentrate on his club football with Kilmacud Crokes for the coming weeks.
Although Cunningham refused to rule out selecting the forward later in the championship, he doesn't expect him to feature for the Dubs this season.
"It did surprise me. We got very little indication that he was thinking that way," Cunningham said, speaking as an ambassador for the Bord Gais Energy U-21 All-Ireland Championship.
"But he is very focused on the club. I was talking to fellas afterwards and it means a lot to him. I think the next game is a knock-out game in Dublin and he said he wanted to focus on that.
"It's disappointing. He has been there since the start of the year.
"The door is always open but if you're pulling out at this time of the year, I would imagine that's the decision made for this year anyway."
Cunningham will also have to plan without Niall McMorrow. The midfielder requires surgery on his thumb to repair a tendon and faces a spell on the sidelines, but Cunningham is adamant that it shouldn't cause the player any problems further down the line.
"It was just an injury to the tendon that holds the thumb in place. He has done some damage to that," Cunningham explained.
"The danger is that if you leave it go, it could develop into something that would be harder to fix later on. It looks like he needs an operation to put back the tendon. Hopefully it will only be four to six weeks."
In more positive news, Danny Sutcliffe is making good progress with his hamstring injury and featured from the bench against Tipperary in a challenge game last Sunday.
Sutcliffe pulled up in the warm-up of the league semi-final defeat to Cork.
Cunningham believes that his players have learned a lot from having thrown away a nine-point half-time lead in that match.
"For 50 minutes, we did play really good hurling for a lot of the game. But there is a lesson learned that when we get into those situations, that we need to be closing them out," he said.
"It was going to be a situation where Cork would get a run at us. They had the wind. They were going to come. And I think again, it was our decision making.
"We had some bad wides. A couple of frees that we didn't get. That day we didn't get any advantage, and a couple of points would have stopped Cork's momentum.
"I've been saying all along, we're only looking for consistency. Okay, you'd like to win all the games but you have to be consistent and get good performances.
"The league was good for us. We got the chance to see some players and for us to get to know them. I think overall, the league was very positive."