Sunday 18 March 2018

Dunne hoping Galway can take advantage of Rivals' five-week break

Galway manager Mark Dunne. Photo: Sportsfile
Galway manager Mark Dunne. Photo: Sportsfile

Daragh Ó Conchúir

Galway manager Mark Dunne has admitted that he wanted to take the direct route to the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Championship semi-final but having come through a quarter-final he's hoping his side will hold an advantage over Cork.

Dunne accepts the Leesiders deserve to be favourites on the strength of their form not just this year but over a prolonged period. However, he believes his charges are improving all the time and will have benefited from easing past Tipperary at Semple Stadium last weekend.

Meanwhile, Cork will have had been without competitive action for five weeks since defeating Offaly by five points in Birr by the time the teams face off at the Gaelic Grounds on Saturday week. "I didn't mind whether it was Cork or Kilkenny," said Dunne. "I'd put them both in the same bracket. We definitely have work to do but we're definitely further on than we were two weeks ago, a good bit further on.

"They do seem to be coming together a bit. We've more to add to it… Cork, we'll look forward to it. Bring it on."

Dunne added: "When we were playing Kilkenny in the group, if we were able to choose our route we would have went straight to the semi.

"We never hid from that fact, we want to win every game.

"If we'd lost the quarter-final we'd probably look back on that day but now you get over it and in the semi, you look at it as a better way of coming because you have that extra game. We're further on, we've probably learned a bit more, found a few things to improve on.

"I'm sure the Cork management will have a plan for us. They'll be happy enough to get us, we wouldn't have the greatest record against them in semi-finals. They're favourites, that's fine, let them be favourites. We don't mind the underdog tags."

Irish Independent

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