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Gilroy to take hard approach

SEVERAL of Dublin's most experienced campaigners are under severe pressure to hold on to their starting spots for this coming Saturday's All-Ireland SFC qualifier with Tipperary in Croke Park (6.0).

As the fall-out from Dublin's shambolic 11-point defeat to Meath continues, the performances of some of their most decorated players have come under scrutiny and there could yet be wholesale changes when Pat Gilroy names his starting 15 later this week.

Kevin Nolan, Michael MacAuley, Eoghan O'Gara and Kevin McManamon are among those likely to benefit from the cull if and when Gilroy does wield the axe this week.

Kilmacud Crokes man Nolan has made a strong claim for inclusion with growing speculation that both Bryan Cullen and Barry Cahill are under pressure to retain their spots.

Both MacAuley and O'Gara have made positive cameos from the bench in each of Dublin's two championship matches to date, while McManamon kicked a point and won a converted free in his brief substitute appearance against Meath with Conal Keaney and Tomás Quinn likely to be axed if Gilroy decides on sweeping changes in attack.

There could also be a return for some of the old guard, with stand-in captain David Henry pushing strongly for a starting berth while Paul Casey is now thought to be a live contender for the full-back position.

Darren Magee has returned to full training in recent weeks and may be added to the substitutes bench, though Cian O'Sullivan is definitely out with a hamstring injury.