Gilroy: League game is irrelevant

Gilroy: League game is irrelevant

Dublin manager Pat Gilroy reckons the underdog tag placed on his side is fully justified as they prepare to face Ulster champions Tyrone at Croke Park this afternoon.

The Dubs had been pre-match favourites in their two most recent All-Ireland quarter-finals in 2008 and 2009, despite Tyrone and Kerry, the previous years' All-Ireland winners, being their respective opponents.

Ahead of today's quarter-final clash with Tyrone, Gilroy admitted: "Over the past three or four years, this is probably the first game we are going into that really the logic would say the opposition are going to beat us.

"Maybe that isn't a bad thing for us - there is a freedom for us to do our best in this game.

"Sport is a funny thing, sometimes results can go your way when you are the underdog."

Dublin beat Tyrone by 2-14 to 1-11 in the final round of the National League last April, condemning the Red Hands to Division 2 football next season.

However, Gilroy says that the league game will have little relevance when the teams face each other in the red hot atmosphere of the Championship.

"I think if you look at Tyrone as they played throughout the league they were an evolving team. They were changing a lot and I think they have been a much better team in the Championship.

"I don't think there is any comparison to the team that played against Monaghan (in the Ulster final).

"It's the same people, but the way they are playing is different, and they look a lot different and a lot sharper and fitter than they were in April. I don't think it is that relevant to be honest.

"I think the league form has been shown up already. Mayo got to the league final and they were beaten by Longford. I don't think league form really carries a lot into the Championship."

Dublin certainly fired on all cylinders in that league meeting in Omagh as they raced into a 2-10 to 0-7 half-time lead.

Their 40-year-old manager, who is in his second season in charge, says that it would be hard to repeat such a dominant first half showing in the Championship arena.

"Realistically everything went right for us in that first half. I think we had 12 shots and we scored 2-10. We certainly haven't been doing that in the Championship.

"It was one of those days, and we were delighted with it, but Championship is a different game.

"You are just not going to get that type of space, if you have 12 shots there is no chance you are going to score 2-10 against anybody in the Championship."

Dublin's two-goal hero against Louth, Eoghan O'Gara, came in for much praise for his display in last weekend's fourth round qualifier.

Gilroy has named an unchanged line-up for the Tyrone tie, despite hinting yesterday that O'Gara has been nursing an injury.

"Unfortunately Eoghan wasn't able to train last Tuesday night because he got injured towards the end of the match," he added.

"But he is fine now. Anybody who gets two goals like that it can only be positive for you.

"He is a guy who has been working hard all year, but he has been plagued with injuries."

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