Not only does the legendary midfielder anticipate a big improvement from Sunday’s display against Clare, he expects there will be significant personal alterations.
“They have a few options and you’ll probably see a different team the next day. The quarter-final was just about getting out of the way. I’d like to see Gooch back if he is fully fit and I’m not sure about the status of Johnny Buckley but he has to be considered too. (David) Moran and (Anthony) Maher would be the best partnership in midfield although midfield doesn’t seem to count that much anymore.”
After a couple of errors by Brian Kelly against Clare, O’Shea says there is every chance Fitzmaurice may opt for Brendan Kealy later this month.
“You’d like to see one settled in there so they can build confidence with their defence but he’s been rotating them. It’s a big call, really, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a change. You have to get everything right in goal against a team like Dublin or Donegal.”
O’Shea doesn’t believe Kerry have any preference for semi-final opposition. “It won’t influence their mindset at all. I think Donegal could be a bigger obstacle for Dublin than some might think. Their backs were to the wall for a time against Cork but Donegal being Donegal they know how to win games. Michael Murphy hasn’t played to his standards quite yet but the sight of the Dublin jersey will motivate them all. Kerry are in a training schedule at the moment and not firing on top gear.
“They’ll have to up their performance for the semi-final but I would expect them to do it. Intensity will go up in training especially next week when they find out who they’re playing. They’re used to these gaps so I wouldn’t have any worries about that.”
Meanwhile, last year’s Kerry SHC finalists St Brendan’s and Kilmoyley will square off in the semi-final on August 14 following yesterday’s draw. Abbeydorney face Ballyduff in the other last four clash, which also takes place on Sunday week.