Yesterday’s Leinster SFC final against Kildare was a high-scoring one and while Gavin was slightly dissatisfied with the 1-17 total his side coughed up, the fact that they almost hit a total of 30 points more than compensated for that fact.
“Any time you concede that much is a concern. It’s something we will have to look at but the balance is what we scored at the other end. We’ll set up ourselves depending on whatever way the opposition will set themselves up. So some teams that we play won’t be as expansive and as expressive as Kildare would be, and we just need to adjust our tactics and it’s just a great challenge if they do that.
“You get a low-scoring game at both ends. Some teams will play open football and you’ll get high-scoring (games) and I’m sure for the supporters looking in it was a good, traditional game of Gaelic football with some fantastic defending, great blocks and tackling, high fielding, some fantastic scores at both ends of the field.”
Gavin was most pleased with how Dublin took control of the third quarter although they had a let-off when Stephen Cluxton saved from Daniel Flynn.
“I think in the third quarter we maybe tacked on 10 points (nine). Overall, I think we scored 2-17 from play in the game and that would have been satisfying.
“But certainly after that good start Kildare came back impressively at us, they got nine points in that second quarter and closed it down to four (points) at half-time. We knew going into the game of what we’ve seen of them in the league and in the Leinster championship so far that they’ve been very impressive, very mobile, athletic, technically very good with some fantastic fielders of the ball.”
In typical fashion, he played down the significance of a seventh straight Leinster title for the county.
“On the historic nature of it, when the guys look back on their careers and particularly for Pat Gilroy who came before me and his group of players who are no longer with this that they’ll take some satisfaction today. But for the current team it is about being present in 2017. Provincial titles means a lot to us and we’ll certainly celebrate it with families and friends, that’s for sure, and then they’ll move onto the next challenge.”
Four-time All-Star Paul Flynn and former footballer of the year Michael Darragh Macauley have yet to see any championship football this summer but Gavin reported that they are close to making the match-day panel and should be in line for the All-Ireland quarter-final against Armagh, Down or Monaghan.
Macauley is believed to have strengthened leg muscles to compensate for a serious knee injury, which Gavin previously denied was a cruciate issue. Flynn is coming back from a back problem.
Asked if he was worried they had yet to see action this summer, the manager said: “Competitively, our games internally are close to championship pace but, yeah, you’re not experiencing the intensity of the ground and the pressure that comes with a game. But they’re very close. Michael Darragh, had this game been another week he might have been available for selection. He just needs to get some game-time in with the club and Paul as well so they are very close.”
Jonny Cooper was expected to be named in the panel but suffered a setback, according to Gavin. “Jonny got a knock a few days ago but the good news is he’s back training and training hard and did a few bits and pieces this morning. Again, it was just a few days too soon for him.”