Friday 17 January 2020

Macauley and Flynn back in contention for Dublin's clash with Farney

Dublin's Paul Flynn. Photo: Sportsfile
Dublin's Paul Flynn. Photo: Sportsfile Newsdesk Newsdesk

Dublin have all their experienced hands back from injury for tomorrow's All-Ireland SFC quarter-final against Monaghan, but Jim Gavin insists that none of them are guaranteed to walk back onto the team.

Jonny Cooper is challenging for a recall to the defence after being forced to miss the Leinster final win over Kildare, while Paul Flynn and Michael Darragh Macauley, neither of whom has played a minute this summer, are also pushing for some involvement.

Flynn and Macauley have not featured since the league final loss to Kerry in April and Gavin stressed yesterday that he will focus on form rather than past records in selecting the team.

"It is always in the past what players have done. It's over," said the Dublin manager. "All I'm interested in is what players are producing and how they're performing in the present because that's all we can judge.

"Nobody can dictate what way the game is going. You have to plan, but how players will perform, you just don't know.

"So from a management perspective all you can go on is present form. I think if you look back at previous form, it's a dangerous game, we don't entertain that."


The other injury update from the All-Ireland champions is that last year's supersub from the final replay, Cormac Costello, is on the mend from his latest setback - an ankle problem which followed recurring hamstring issues.

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He hasn't featured since coming off the bench in Cavan at the start of the league in February.

"Cormac has really worked so hard with the medical team," said Gavin. "Now he's back on the pitch, which is great for him and the team. And who knows what happens this week, whether he'll partake in a Dublin jersey again this season."

Monaghan pushed Gavin's charges hard in their league meeting in April - leading by six points with 20 minutes to go before the Dubs rallied, aided by a late Jack McCaffrey goal, to win by three, and Gavin says he won't have to guard against complacency.

"Monaghan had a very good league campaign… opened up to Mayo in Castlebar, had a good win. Had a good win against Kerry," he recalled.

"Our last game in Clones, a cracking game of football, real end to end stuff, they looked very fit I remember. The last quarter we probably showed some composure to regain control by taking some good scores. My abiding memory was it was a cracking game of football.

"Monaghan have so many threats, but we just need to get our own game-plan right first before we get concerned with them."

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