Gavin: We were ready

Dublin manager Jim Gavin on the sidelines during the Leinster SFC final against Meath. Picture: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE

In his acceptance speech afterwards, Stephen Cluxton admitted Dublin had been worried about Meath but the amount of homework they had done on their neighbours stood to them.

Jim Gavin, who had name-checked Meath in his post-match All-Ireland final interview last September, acknowledged they had put Mick O’Dowd’s men under the microscope.

“We knew the challenge Meath would pose. Dublin-Meath games are traditionally really intense encounters. We’ve seen how Meath can get goal chances and create them against Carlow and Kildare so we knew if we didn’t bring an intensity to the game, they would have exploited us in the back line.

“I thought our back division played very well, very tight. We shut most of their opportunities down and then in the second half, as you saw, we lost a bit of concentration, that they did punish us. There’s always room for improvement.”

Just as pleasing for Gavin was the effort put in by his attack.

“Overall the forward division, those who started and finished, it was a complete performance and they worked hard for each other and displayed a good attitude throughout, so we are very happy.”

The margin of victory over Meath this time around was over twice as much as last year but Gavin believes his side are set up for the All-Ireland series just as good as they were in 2013.

“There are a lot of similarities, I have to say. The players are driving the agenda and are continuing to drive the agenda. It’s very much a player-centric approach. And it’s led by them and it has been led by them for the last number of weeks.

“That, from the management’s perspective, is good to see. We’ve one or two more players in the pack this year but we’ve also lost a couple through injury. So the dynamics have changed, as they always do. We’re going very much into the unknown now in the next few weeks. We’re not sure who we’ll be playing so we just put our head down and work on our game behind the scenes.”


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