Jim Gavin has challenged his Dublin defenders to put some “resilience” into their game after being opened up for two goals by Laois.
Dublin return to Championship duty on Sunday evening against Meath who will attempt to pile as much pressure as possible onto that same defence with a mixture of raw pace and aerial ability.
The Laois game was the first time Dublin conceded more than one goal in the Leinster championship since Meath put five past them in 2010.
Dublin’s rearguard has been robbed of key defensive talents Rory O’Carroll and Jack McCaffrey who have taken indefinite breaks and the hope among rival counties, including Meath, is they’re vulnerable right now.
“I think it is an opportunity, for us to learn, to grow, to put a bit of resilience into our game,” said Dublin manager Gavin. “It’s an experience that we will come out the far side stronger for it.
“At that time in the Laois game, we were in a very dominant position. We had been 11-up at half-time, we had pushed on, first five minutes started in a very controlled manner. It was a slip of concentration and against a side like Laois, we knew they would punish us if we let them. Credit probably wasn’t given to Laois and how they applied themselves in that game and the manner in which they took their goals.
“They were two very good goals in their creation and I think people probably didn’t give Laois the credit, rather than looking at Dublin.”
Gavin faced up to Meath teams in the 2013 and 2014 Leinster finals so will be well aware of attacking threats like Graham Reilly, Andy Tormey and Eamon Wallace. But Cillian O’Sullivan has emerged as a new star in attack after an injury-plagued couple of seasons while Meath have in defence also.
Gavin said it hasn’t been overly difficult to get to grips with the challenge Division 2 outfit Meath will pose.
“We have a good handle on where they’re at,” he said. “They had a very good opening pre-season competition, they obviously prepared well for it. They beat Longford in the O’Byrne Cup final, they started the national league very well by beating Armagh and a lot of the games they played in Division 2, they were very much in the game in the second half. They let the lead slip a couple of times but they were very dominant at times in those games.
“As we’ve seen with recent results, there’s nothing between Division 2 and Division 1 and they closed off their league campaign very well. They had to travel to Portlaoise to get a win against Laois to retain their division status so all told they’ve had a very good start to the season.”
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