Monday 20 November 2017

McMahon adamant three-in-a-row talk will not distract Dubs

McMahon: "You don’t have time to be thinking of these things. . . you’re thinking about what you’re trying to do on the day.” Photo by Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Between their 29-match unbeaten run and their hunt for a third successive All-Ireland, Dublin's 2017 campaign will be framed by numbers and statistics, but Philly McMahon insists that won't affect his side as they return to League action next month.

Dublin's frontline footballers have just returned from the team holiday in Jamaica and won't see any competitive action until their Division 1 opener against Cavan as stand-in manager Paul Clarke and his inexperienced side are set to see out the O'Byrne Cup.

But McMahon insists that when Dublin return to full strength, they won't be distracted by their unbeaten run and the pursuit of three Sam Maguires in a row.

"Between that (unbeaten run) and winning it back to back, they were the two things that were thrown at us a lot," McMahon said.

"But it's never affected me. People are saying 'You're still going on this unbeaten run'. It's never come into my mindset. You don't have time to be thinking of these things. . . you're thinking about what you're trying to do on the day."

Dublin are clear favourites with the bookmakers to retain the All-Ireland title at 5/4, with Kerry and Mayo next on the list at 4/1. But McMahon denies that there is any great gap between the champions and the chasing pack going into the new season.

"When it comes to the quarters, semis and final, there's very little in it," he said. "It just depends on the day. We could have been beaten against Mayo last year in the first game, and we showed a bit of character and got a chance to redeem ourselves in the second game.

"So I don't think there's much in it. People think there's more. Maybe it's the perception around the set-up, that people think we're miles ahead. But we're not."

After their holiday, McMahon insists his head is raring to go for another campaign but admits it might take the body a little more time to catch up.

"The head is recharged. I always say, 'you can recharge your head but your body has to follow then after'," he said. "When we go back training you want to really run hard, but your body doesn't adapt as quick as your head does.

"So when you have a period of downtime and you go on a holiday, your head gets in a good place and you get eager to go back and play, but your body has to follow. So it takes time." 

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