Consistency and performance levels are key, says Dubs manager Gavin

by Cóilín Duffy
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Dublin manager Jim Gavin says consistency and a high level of performance are something he seeks over a 70-minute spell, rather than in short bursts.

Dublin hit 2-6 in a 15-minute spell to blitz Mayo early in the second half of the semi-final last time out.

Gavin says this type of play needs to happen over a 70-minute spell.

“All we are trying to eek out is a high level of consistency and performance over the games,” he said.

“When you look at it in terms of performance of a team, perfection is a bit like infinity – there’s always something in each facet of play that you want to improve upon.

“We went through a patch against Mayo where we executed very well in the first half. Mayo defended really well and took their scores really well, and they went in two points up and it could have been more.

“I thought we done really well to limit the scores to just being down by two points.

“Over the expanse of the game it will ebb and flow, and when the opportunities come your way, you just need to execute them as best you can.”

Gavin is known for his strong tactical analysis of Dublin’s opponents, and it’s been no different ahead of this year’s showpiece encounter.

“Having looked at Kerry closely in recent days it’s quite apparent what a solid game plan they have and the skill levels that they have, so it’s going to be an exceptionally tough game for us.”

Gavin reflects back to their league meeting in Tralee in the league earlier this year, and the special atmosphere that cold, wet night in Austin Stack Park.

“That was a really enjoyable game and a great game for us to get. We were only back from the Christmas break a few weeks at that stage, and we obviously had a lot of work to do in the legs.

“Kerry looked very fresh and full of energy. In hindsight it was great to get a close-up look at them. We came back on the bus saying ‘that’s a very impressive team’.

“It wasn’t just a once off though. They looked very accomplished during their National League campaign and got some serious results, both at home and away, and rightfully deservedly got into a National League final.

“I think they have carried that form into the Munster campaign. They looked very impressive against Cork, albeit the score was tight.

“They opened with an impressive six attacks and got 1-5 on the board. In their game in Ennis against Clare in difficult conditions, they managed quite well.

“In the quarter-final series, Donegal would have posed a lot of questions for them, and I thought they answered them really, really well.

“They had a very clinical performance against Meath, in difficult circumstances going up to Navan, and they came away relatively unscathed.

“Then their semi-final against Tyrone, they were four points down against a really experienced team, with an outstanding manager in Mickey Harte and they still turned it around and finished with some aplomb.

“They backed it up, with a performance in Killarney against Mayo, with 15 points on the board from their first 19 attacks.

“This isn’t a team who is developing. This is a team who are very accomplished and polished, so it’s going to be a massive challenge.

“It’s one we are looking forward too, and one for which we will prepare to the best of our ability.”

Gavin says games at this stage of the year are certainly ones to savour.

“They are great opportunities and great occasions,” he said.

“Getting through a semi-final, they are there to be won and that’s the main thing about them.

“The performance the last day against Mayo has given us the opportunity to eek out and seek as good a performance in the next game, which happens to be an All-Ireland final against Kerry.“

“The great challenge from a management perspective is to prepare the team as best as one can, and creating an environment where the guys can be at their best.”

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