Monday 18 December 2017

O'Rourke's big choice

Malachy O'Rourke. Photo: Philip Fitzpatrick/Sportsfile
Malachy O'Rourke. Photo: Philip Fitzpatrick/Sportsfile

Peter Canavan

Monaghan manager Malachy O'Rourke has a choice - try to contain Dublin and keep them in sight or try to set the terms of engagement.

His Monaghan side haven't been firing on all cylinders for some time but he'll likely look to the League game in Clones and decide that he has to go for it. They set the tone that day and attacked Dublin. They opened Jim Gavin's side up at times and got themselves in a position to win the game, only running out of steam in the final ten minutes.

Monaghan have been regularly competitive with Dublin in the league but in their only recent meeting in the Championship, a 2014 quarter-final, the Dubs dished out a 17-point hammering.

Sitting back and giving Stephen Cluxton easy outs from his kick-outs would be a mistake. You're just inviting trouble onto yourself. And Monaghan didn't look comfortable when not going for it against Carlow and Down. And O'Rourke will have noticed too that Kildare got at the Dublin defence with direct running and early, accurate ball. In Conor McManus they have a player who has caused the Dubs real bother.

It will take a brilliant performance for Monaghan to really trouble Dublin. To have a chance, they must take a chance and go for the jugular.

Irish Independent

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