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Dubs on the rise

Dublin football manager Pat Gilroy believes his team are stronger psychologically now than they were 12 months ago.

Gilroy feels Dublin are now better equipped to deal with mental pressures thanks to a series of groundbreaking results last season.

Beating Armagh and Tyrone, on top of winning in Kerry in the league, has had a big benefit on the team overall, Gilroy claimed on the eve of Dublin's floodlit Croke Park game against All-Ireland champions Cork.

"There was a lot of stuff the team hadn't done before, like winning in Kerry or beating Tyrone, and that helps in terms of building people's confidence," he says.

"But it's an area of the game where you have to be constantly vigilant and make sure you keep the frame of mind positive. There were certainly positives to say the psychological side was better last year.

"We lost four games of competitive football out of 17. It wasn't bad, but not enough to win things, so we now have to up that level this year.

"Last year we threw the kitchen sink at Cork and it just wasn't enough --they were the better team. People say to me 'the better team didn't win,' but the better team wins every game, in my view. Ultimately, they were the better team for 75 minutes and the staying power they had was just that bit better than ours."

Gilroy says he has tried to model Dublin's style on what was successful for St Vincent's when they won the All-Ireland club title in 2008.

"When you don't have the ball everyone tries to get it back, and when you do have the ball you attack -- it's as simple as that," he says.

"It takes a bit more to execute it, but that's the philosophy and I think you see that in every sport. Look at Barcelona: when they don't have the ball one of their hardest workers is Messi."

Irish Independent