League wins over rivals have given us summer edge, insists Dubs ace McCarthy
James McCarthy wants Dublin to 'keep on beating' their rivals for Sam Maguire in the league, insisting it has been vital for their development.
The Ballymun man admitted that they took great belief from their victories over the likes of Mayo and Kerry and credited those wins with helping build a side that is now chasing three All-Ireland titles on the bounce.
"Around 2010-'11, we changed and we said that we were going to take the league really seriously and we said if we are going to start beating these teams in the summer, we are going to need to beat them in the league," McCarthy recalled.
"And our first one was when we went down to beat Kerry down there and then we started picking up these wins away and it just stands to you. A lot of teams have their best players playing in the league as well, so if you beat them then, you think why can't you beat them in the summer. I know it is bigger crowd, warmer weather, harder pitches but it does make it a difference."
And with Tyrone coming to Croke Park on Saturday night, McCarthy doesn't want to hand their rivals any initiative going into the summer.
"It gives you that bit of, 'Look, we beat Dublin already, why can't we do it again?'
"Obviously Kerry, Mayo, Tyrone they are our big rivals as well and you want to keep on trying to beat them, or keep trying to get the upper hand on them like.
"You don't want to give them that little bit if they beat us - flip it if you like. They beat us in the league, and then they go, 'Why can't we beat them in the summer?'"