Gilroy: we’re happy to be underdogs

All-Ireland SFC Quarter-Final
Dublin v Tyrone, today 4pm (Croke Park)

DUBLIN boss Pat Gilroy hopes that the underdog tag will suit his side in this afternoon’s All-Ireland SFC quarter-final with Tyrone.

The Blues were favourites in their last two equivalent clashes – against Mickey Harte’s men and Kerry – but suffered two of their most embarrassing defeats in recent history.

Now Gilroy hopes that being shorn of the favourites mantle will benefit his men.

“Over the past three or four years, this is probably the first game we are going into that really the logic would say the opposition are going to beat us,” he said. “Maybe that isn’t a bad thing for us – there is a freedom for us to do our best in this game. Sport is a funny thing, sometimes results can go your way when you are the underdog.”

Dublin are boosted by the fact that they beat Tyrone (2-14 to 1-11) in the final round of the league in April. However, Gilroy says that tie will have little relevance when it comes to today’s encounter.

“I think if you look at Tyrone as they played throughout the league they were an evolving team. They were changing a lot and I think they have been a much better team in the championship,’’ Gilroy said.

“I don’t think there is any comparison to then and the team that played against Monaghan (in the Ulster final).

“It’s the same people, but the way they are playing is different. They look a lot sharper and fitter than they were in April.”

Dublin’s performance at Healy Park, Omagh was one of the highlights of their season and the manager would love a repeat of that showing.

“Realistically everything went right for us in that first half,’’ he recalled. “I think we had 12 shots and we scored 2-10. We certainly haven’t been doing that in the championship. It was one of those days, and we were delighted with it, but championship is a different game. You are just not going to get that type of space, if you have 12 shots there is no chance you are going to score 2-10 against anybody in the championship.”

Dublin’s two-goal hero Eoghan O’Gara came in for much praise following last weekend’s qualifier win over Louth, with Gilroy naming an unchanged line-up, despite yesterday hinting that the Templeogue-Synge Street clubman has tasted little action since last weekend.

“Unfortunately he wasn’t able to train last Tuesday night because he got injured towards the end of the match. But, he is fine now. He is a guy who has been working hard all year, but he has been plagued with injuries.”


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