Éamonn Fitzmaurice: Kerry must approach Tyrone semi-final with extreme caution

From the Kerry perspective and with my management hat on the six days delay will have been annoying more than anything else.
Éamonn Fitzmaurice: Kerry must approach Tyrone semi-final with extreme caution

In 2015 Kerry had a ridiculous five-week gap between our win over Tyrone in the semi-final and the final, writes Éamonn Fitzmaurice. Picture: INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Regardless of the ins or the outs of the Covid breakout in the Tyrone camp it is a messy situation that is far from ideal for anyone.

Now that the decision has been finalised everyone just has to get on with it. I am sure the last thing Tyrone want is to give a walkover but they are in an extremely uncertain position a week out from their biggest match in two years. It is hard to imagine that they will be at full tilt this day next week.

These players are finely tuned athletes and a setback like this will handicap them. Even a 5% drop in energy levels for a player at this stage of the competition can have huge consequences.

That said, the Ulster champions have always been at their best when they have a chip on their shoulder, when they have a cause to fight for or something to rail against. Past experience has taught me that Kerry will need to approach this match with extreme caution.

From the Kerry perspective and with my management hat on the six days delay will have been annoying more than anything else.

The team were primed for battle and trying to pull the reins and hold for an extra week can be a challenge.

The four-week gap from the Munster final is also unpleasant. In 2015 we had a ridiculous five-week gap between our win over Tyrone in the semi-final and the final.

We had an A v B game a week out and the A team were lifting. The forwards couldn’t have been playing better. We thought we were in a great place.

A week later we scored nine points when we lost to Dublin by three in a monsoon. Looking back we were gone over the top a week early. The margins are tight from now on. On the positive side, it does give Diarmuid O’Connor and Dara Moynihan an extra week to get back to full fitness.

- Read Éamonn Fitzmaurice's full column on Dublin v Mayo in the Irish Examiner, print and online, on Saturday.

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