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Gallagher: Dublin getting better the longer they play together


Donegal manager Rory Gallagher Picture: Sportsfile

Donegal manager Rory Gallagher Picture: Sportsfile

Donegal manager Rory Gallagher Picture: Sportsfile

It was hard not to surmise that the controlled, patient, secure elements of Dublin's performance on Saturday night owed much to their last Championship defeat against the same opposition.

"They're getting better the longer they play together," noted Rory Gallagher on that very theme.

"The longer they have to learn, they've had a couple of tough defeats.

"The reality is at it stands, they've only lost two Championship games in six years," he pointed out.

"They're unbeaten in 26 games. There's obviously a great approach from the players and a great standard set by themselves and the management and they're always topped off with quality players coming in, the likes of Paul Mannion coming in and able to make the impact.

"That's the challenge for every team to try and improve.

"They're still at the right age, a lot of them."


All week, the theory that Rory O'Carroll-less, Dublin would be vulnerable to long, high attacks on their full-back line was recycled.

On Saturday, they were eminently comfortable under such a barrage and the only time they were opened up, a la 2014, was from a misplaced pass from Cian O'Sullivan that led to Ryan McHugh's goal.

"I thought it was a really exciting game," Jim Gavin said.

"I thought there was some great play by both teams, a great defensive effort by Donegal and to see them in full flow close up, they have great athletes, great footballers."

"We are very confident in what we do, we are an attack-minded team," he continued.

"We practice a lot on the training field on the skills of our game and the scoring but we also play due diligence to our defence.

"The guys have worked hard on it during the year and to go through those nine league games, I think we learned a lot from that. The same again today."

Gavin rejected the theory that his team required such an invasive examination of their minerals after a Leinster campaign in which every opponent was sent packing by with double-digit defeat but you couldn't but say they'll be better equipped for Kerry on August 28th because of it.

"They are an outstanding team.

"Being brutally honest, we haven't lifted our heads above what was in front of us which was the threat from Donegal," he explained.

"But absolutely, the games we have played against them the last number of years there has literally just been a kick of the ball between us," Gavin concluded.

"I'm sure it will be the same again in three weeks."