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Dublin: 4°C Tuesday 26 January 2021
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Dubs legend Mullins reckons Gavin has continued the Gilroy style of play

And the midfield great has identified captain Stephen Cluxton as critical to the Dublin cause.

Brian Mullins at a Vodafone preview event ahead of Sunday's All-Ireland final.
Brian Mullins at a Vodafone preview event ahead of Sunday's All-Ireland final.
Image: Sportsfile

DUBLIN LEGEND BRIAN Mullins has rejected suggestions that Jim Gavin has overhauled the county’s style of play since taking over as manager this season.

Dublin’s progression to next Sunday’s All-Ireland final has been defined by some stunning attacking displays.

Yet Mullins argues against the theory that they are now more susceptible to conceding scores in defence than they were under the watch of Pat Gilroy.

“I don’t buy into this theme that he has changed things.  I think he is playing more or less the same way the Dublin team did for the last three or four years.

‘I think when Bryan Cullen was fit and playing well two years ago he was as hard a working hard forward as Paul Flynn.

“The suggestion anecdotally, locally was one of the reasons why Pat Gilroy put Alan and Bernard Brogan through a period of not picking them was because they didn’t work hard enough when Dublin lost games.

“So I think all the Dublin forwards now as part of the team tactic are working hard back, chasing back or tracking back.”

Mullins has hailed the determination that Gavin displays in his management style.

“I’d say determination is one of Jim’s strengths alright. He’s been manager of the Dublin U21 team for five years. Because he has the players at training, he knows what they’re like from previous years, he sets high standards in terms of their suitability.

“Once he was appointed, it would have been expected that he would hit the ground running rather than need a long period of time to work himself into the role.

“I think that winning the national league, he mightn’t have necessarily expected to do that, but they did it very well.”

image

Dublin’s Stephen Cluxton
Pic: INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Captain

And Mullins believes captain Stephen Cluxton’s input is crucial in setting the tone.

“Stephen Cluxton’s kick outs have gone to another level. It’s a testament to him that even after 12 years with Dublin, still he’s finding aspects of his game he continues to improve on. That’s a sign of a top performer.

“If you were just to take Stephen Cluxton’s attitude and approach. He’s very deep about his contribution to the play. He’s very protective and sets very high standards.

“I think he’s the one that Jim Gavin would have expected to set the bar for the younger players that have come in.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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