DUBLIN hurling captain Johnny McCaffrey insists 2013 has so far "gone to plan" ahead of Saturday's Division 1B final clash with Limerick in Semple Stadium.
A win for the Dubs would see them return to the top flight immediately after suffering relegation in 2012.
"So far it's gone to plan. We went out to win the Walsh Cup. We succeeded in that. We went out to get to the league final in 1B, which we've done," said McCaffrey (right).
"Obviously, there are areas to improve on, as there always are. We're looking to strive to get as good as we possibly can but we're very happy with how it's going at the moment."
The Lucan Sarsfields man admitted confidence was on the floor in the squad after last year's forgettable campaign that followed a number of seasons of tangible progress for Anthony Daly's side.
"We'd be hopeful that (playing in Division 1B) helped build our confidence back up, that we've got the team spirit back up again," he said.
"Winning games is good. Obviously we'd love to be in 1A but that was the card we were dealt last year, we just had to get up and get on with it, and that's what we've done so far."
Limerick are the only side to beat the Dubs competitively this term but Dublin shot 15 wides when the sides met in Croke Park and McCaffrey is confident they can overturn that result and seal a place in the league semi-final.
"I think it was our own downfall. We should have been well up by half-time with the number of chances we had in the first 10 or 15 minutes," he said.
"In fairness to Limerick, they stuck in and deservedly won the game in the end with the way they played in the second half.
"I suppose we learned a couple of things from that game and hopefully we can put them into practice at the weekend.
"To win it and get another game against Tipp two weeks later – it's a big incentive. We got ourselves into relegation last year so it's our job to get out of it this year.
"It's a great game to look forward to and to have a cup at the end of it is another incentive as well."