Dublin must seize chance to put erratic form in past -- McCrabbe
Published 25/03/2010 | 05:00
DUBLIN hurler Alan McCrabbe believes the players have to take responsibility for their wildly fluctuating league form.
Anthony Daly's side performed superbly when hammering All-Ireland finalists Tipperary early in the campaign but they also suffered a disappointing defeat to Offaly, while losses to Waterford and Kilkenny means only Justin McCarthy's embattled Limerick side are beneath them in the table.
And with table-topping Cork set to visit Parnell Park on Sunday, there is no better time for Dublin to rediscover their best form.
"Our inconsistent form has to be sorted out within the camp itself," said the All Star. "I don't think Anthony Daly can sort it. It's to do with the players. After beating Tipperary, we were on a high, and going down to Offaly we probably thought to ourselves, 'we should get the two points down here'. But in Division 1 that just doesn't happen.
"It does make the Cork game a big game for us. We'd rather be safe now than let it come down to the last game and put pressure on ourselves.
"Since Anthony took over we've tried to make Parnell Park a fortress. We don't want to let teams in there winning handy games. So with Cork coming, it's no different to any other team coming up.
"The main thing we have to get sorted out are our away performances, because they are not up to scratch. We've been losing two points when we should be getting two points on the board."
McCrabbe's season looked to be over when he was carried off the field in the Waterford match with a suspected broken leg, but an X-ray revealed he suffered only heavy bruising.
"It seemed bad at the time. The physio ran on to me, and asked me could I feel my toes, and my foot and I couldn't feel anything. I suppose it was more precautionary to go the hospital. But when I went to the hospital it was just more a bang on the knee, which sent the shocks down the leg. That's why I couldn't feel anything."
With their initial target of reaching a league final now beyond the Dubs, McCrabbe knows his side have to learn to deal with carrying the favourites tag into high-profile matches.
"We're not used to being favourites. I think we were favourites in one game the whole of last year. If we're moving on and pushing on in the championship we need to be able to take this tag of being favourites and push on ourselves."