Dublin midfielder Michael Darragh Macauley has accused Mick Lillis of gamesmanship following the Laois manager’s claim he’s ‘terrified’ of facing the All-Ireland champions.
Lillis stated after his team’s first-round win over Wicklow, which sealed a June 4 quarter-final tie with Dublin, that it’s “not David and Goliath — it’s probably David and Goliath’s bigger brother’’, labeling the four-in-a-row Allianz league winners “a monster”.
Laois lost to Dublin by 11 points in the 2014 Championship but are the last Leinster county to push the Sky Blues close having run them to within three points in the 2012 All-Ireland quarter-finals.
Macauley said he’s paying little attention to Lillis’ remarks ahead of Saturday week’s Nowlan Park meeting.
Asked if what Lillis said amounted to gamesmanship, the recent AIB All-Ireland club medalist with Ballyboden St Enda’s nodded his head.
“That would be what managers do in interviews,” said Macauley.
“I’m sure he did (engage in gamesmanship), it’s what he’s going to do. Jim Gavin is going to do the same but, look, at the end of the day, it’s a game of football, two teams are going to go out and try to murder each other and get into the next round of the Championship.
“Whoever is the best prepared, the fittest, and wants it more is going to come out with the honours at the end of the day. We know it’s going to be a tough task.
“We’re fairly familiar with them, a few of their boys have been there a long while. John O’Loughlin is playing his club football in Dublin, I’ve marked him many a time.
“I remember down in O’Moore Park in the league a few years ago we had a bit of a battle with them as well and they’ve been sticky for us in the Championship over the last few years.”
Macauley was dropped for last year’s All-Ireland quarter-final against Fermanagh and was used as an impact substitute for three of Dublin’s last four Championship games.
He only appeared late in the league due to his involvement with Ballyboden and realises he has to convince manager Gavin he is worthy of being a starter again.
“It would be easy for the management to just say, ‘look, we’re after winning most of the games this year, why wouldn’t we just stick with a winning formula?’ I have to go in there and kind of put a spanner in the works and say, ‘well this is why we don’t stick with a winning formula’. I’m looking forward to doing that.”
Michael Darragh Macauley was speaking at the opening of Skill Zone, Dublin’s first multi-sport indoor attraction which is now open for bookings. For information see skillzone.ie.
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