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Jim handed Dubs ammunition with 'Abramovich' jibe: Cassidy

KEVIN Cassidy has described as "silly" Jim McGuinness's comparison of Dublin to Premier League side Chelsea after the arrival of billionaire oligarch Roman Abramovich as owner over a decade ago.

"To be honest I think it was a silly comment," said Cassidy, who infamously fell out with McGuinness after their breakthrough 2011 season for his contribution to the book 'This is Our Year', a breach of team confidentiality in the view of his manager.

Speaking yesterday in Croke Park, in a promotional event for Saturday's 'Croke Park Classic' the collegiate American Football match responsible for the staging of Saturday's Mayo/Kerry replay in Limerick, Cassidy revealed: "He has given out to Mark McHugh and Eamon McGee in the past for making silly comments.

"I don't know if it is pressure or if Jim is trying to direct stuff away or whatever but Dublin didn't need any more ammunition because there is enough there already.

"There is no need for it," continued the Ghaoth Dobhair man, a double All Star in his decade long career with Donegal.


"Dublin deserve credit. They don't deserve it (the Abramovich comparison) to be said because of money."

Somewhat ironically, Donegal underwent a five-day training camp at the Johnstown House sports complex in Enfield over the weekend.

Prior to their Ulster SFC opener with Derry, they went on a similar expedition to the Algarve.

"To be honest there is a lot of money in our county as well," Cassidy admitted.

"Maybe for Jim to say that wasn't right but I'm sure he realises that now.

"I don't know what he story was with the interview now. Maybe it was taken out of context but it was more ammunition for Dublin. They will be focused on what they have to do to prove their point."

Predicting that Donegal will need the perfect performance to beat Dublin this Sunday, Cassidy identified the misfiring Colm McFadden as being vital to the Tir Chonaill cause.

"Colm needs confidence and you almost know from the first ball or two what you are going to get from Colm for the rest of the day and he is getting a bit of stick this year," his former team mate pointed out.

"But I don't think it's fair because without Colm in 2012 there was no way Donegal would have won the All-Ireland. They must be mindful of that and give the lad a chance.

"I was at the quarter-final and I never heard any stuff directed at him, but he is a confidence player and without Colm, Donegal simply won't win.


"I know that from down through the years so if Colm has an off-day on Sunday there is no way we will win.

"We should be doing everything we can to keep his confidence up and give him every chance to turn the corner.

"But that's for Jim and the lads to get him primed and hopefully he will turn up on Sunday in form."

However Cassidy quashed the notion that McGuinness may choose to keep McFadden - his brother-in-law - in reserve this Sunday.

"He will definitely start. It's not an option to drop him - it's not going down the road of loyalty or anything, but you won't get the same coming off the bench from Colm as you would off Paddy McBrearty, Odhran MacNiallais or Darach O'Connor."