Monday 18 December 2017

We're honest but we're no world-beaters -- Gilroy

David Kelly

David Kelly

Pat Gilroy knows the score. Excoriated from considerable heights after the Meath farrago, it would be easy to thump one's chest after notching up a rare championship success against a team from beyond Leinster.

Others can paint the bigger picture; Gilroy is concentrating on the moment. Reflections on the team's character and honesty are integral on this day, hypotheses are irrelevant.

"I suppose the lads felt their character has been questioned quite a bit over the past six weeks," he said. "Nobody likes that. As a panel, the attitude has been phenomenal through the year. Anything we've asked them to do, they've done. You don't get that performance unless you've done the work off the field. I couldn't fault them.

"We still have to be practical about where we're at. We're no world-beaters and we know that. We know we have to work hard and be honest. This is about being consistent in our performances and if we can do that for the rest of this championship, I'll be happy. Where it takes us, I don't know.

"Maybe people thought the fellahs had doubts about themselves, but they didn't. The mood over the past four or five weeks has been great. They've been pushing each other in training and that competitiveness in the squad keeps the atmosphere positive. There weren't any doubts."

That doesn't explain the panel defections but, nevertheless, the squad's commitment and cohesion were commendable.

Armagh manager Paddy O'Rourke was left to reflect on a missed opportunity as he pines for the successful convalescence of Ronan Clarke from serious injury to partner Stevie McDonnell, from whom too much was asked in a limited forward division.

"They (Dublin) are an improving team, they've a strong panel. They'll be a match for anybody and there will be a few surprises in the championship," said O'Rourke.

Irish Independent

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