Mattie Kenny? Not happy. Boy, was he not happy.
The eyes told you that before the thoughts and words started to arrive through gritted teeth. Hands crossed, leaning back against a table under the main stand, he tried to put together a day that had shattered his side’s season.
“There’s an element of responsibility between the players and the management today. That was an unacceptable performance from our group. And we know that. The problem is, it’s too f***ing late now.
“It’s a disappointing way to finish the season for us. Laois put up great fight there. They had great hunger. Dublin weren’t at the required level today. And we’ve nobody to blame for that only ourselves.”
The slow start was the source of their problems. Laois had their foothold and loosening it proved far harder than anyone could have envisaged.
There was rich praise for Laois, their focus and their professionalism, but that was the yin to the yang that were Dublin’s self-inflicted wounds.
Seventeen wides was just one of them.
“Sometimes it’s not any one thing,” said Kenny who more than once balanced his disgust with Dublin with praise for their conquerors. “If you’re off on one thing, you’re probably off on a lot of things. Today we had 17 missed scoring opportunities.
“That cost us dearly. But overall the intensity that we’ve been playing at for the last number of weeks, we didn’t bring it today. And I think that reflected on our tackle-rate and I think it affected on our work rate as well.”
There was an acceptance that this has soured his first season in charge, one that had shown such promise with a run to the league semi-final and a superb provincial campaign that saw them progress to this knockout stage at Galway’s expense.
They’ll be all winter flushing the sins from this one out of their system.
No doubt this will be dissected by players and management and supporters over and back and among the imponderables will be the side’s attitude.
Had they let all that talk of Laois’ short turnaround from the Joe McDonagh final seep into their brains?
Had they taken Laois for granted in general? Were their minds already on a Tipperary side they had beaten in a league quarter-final in Thurles? Kenny, for one, didn’t see any of that.
“Our preparation went really well. But sport is funny. You have to make sure that outside influences don’t seep into the guys’ minds.
A lot of people were writing about ‘Dublin are playing Tipperary’. That was being disrespectful to Laois, because Laois played really well in the Joe McDonagh.
“They played really well again today. Even though our shooting was off, on the day you can’t have any complaint about the result.
“The best team won on the day. You’d be very disappointed with the Dublin performance. It’s just not up to what we expect from this group and ourselves.”
Mike Quirke's Football Show: Tactical Mayo but never boring. How Cork changed tack. Tyrone always learning. Fixing the fouling carnage