Brendan Cummins criticises Pat Gilroy for bringing back veterans as Dublin boss says results are not living up to expectations
Tipperary legend Bredan Cummins believes Pat Gilroy made an error in bringing veterans Conal Keaney and Alan Nolan back into the fold with the Dublin hurlers.
Dublin were brushed aside by Limerick on Saturday evening by 1-26 to 0-17 and are in the relegation zone in Division 1B.
A nervy one-point win over Antrim followed a heavy defeat at GAA headquarters to Offaly and Gilroy's men face All-Ireland champions Galway at Parnell Park this weekend.
Due to their participation in DCU’s historic first Fitzgibbon Cup final appearance on Saturday, Dublin will be without Eoghan O’Donnell, Donal Burke, Feargal Whitely, Rian McBride and Darragh Gray for the visit of the Tribesmen.
Cummins feels bringing Keaney and Nolan back sends the wrong message to young players in the capital.
"I think Pat Gilroy would have expected a bigger bounce," Cummins told Allianz League Sunday on RTÉ.
"He brought Conal Keaney back, (Alan) Nolan in the goals. I just feel when he made that decision he looked backwards rather than forwards.
"I think it was important to give younger fellas an opportunity. He's probably going to have to go back to them. Conal Keaney has done okay but if I was a 22-year-old or 23-year-old hurler in Dublin I'd be saying, 'well Conal Keaney, they've gone back for him, what am I doing here on the panel?'
"And of course the guy who'd really light up Dublin hurling, Con O'Callaghan, will be putting the hurley in the corner of the room unfortunately and going back to playing the big ball.
"So, difficult times in Dublin hurling and there's no guarantees they're going to get out of that relegation.
"They've to play Laois, they could lose to Galway next weekend, Laois could beat Offaly. There are a huge amount of permutations left yet but a lot of work to be done."
Former Kilkenny defender Jackie Tyrell pinpointed the Dublin defence as an area for concern.
"They're conceding big scores. 3-73 they've conceded. That's not good for them."
Speaking after the game, Gilroy admitted that his side's displays are not living up to expectations.
“We’re putting in savage training. It’s going to take time,” he repeated. “This ain’t going to switch overnight into us being a top four team.
“It’s going to take a lot of work and a lot of effort. So yeah, you were hoping that you were going to get better performances than we’re getting, but we have to live with that.
“It’s something we’re trying to bring into the team. We have to accept that it might take time to get used to that. We have to just get on with it this week.
“There’s a number of things we’re trying to do in terms of getting the base right here in the way that we defend.
“We’re not leaving ourselves very vulnerable to goals, which is a positive.
“But around the middle third, at times, we’re following the ball, with guys leaving men free. It’s something we have to work on.
“You can’t leave people around the middle. It’s going to be a score. In the first 15 minutes, we were very good at it. We were shutting them down all over the place.
“But we shut down for a ten-minute period there and it killed us.”