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Don't believe the hype: Jim Gavin is not taking anything for granted just yet

The Dublin boss says his players will remain focused on the job in hand.

Jim Gavin wants his side to focus on the task at hand, beating Donegal.
Jim Gavin wants his side to focus on the task at hand, beating Donegal.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

THERE MAY BE those who believe Dublin are just the formality of a semi-final and final away from retaining their All-Ireland SFC title but Jim Gavin is not one of them.

Indeed, the Dublin manager refuses to accept his side are favourites for the Sam Maguire despite following up their 16-point Leinster final victory over Meath with an even more impressive 17-point demolition of Monaghan at Croke Park on Saturday night.

However, he is confident his players won’t become distracted by any expectations fans or members of the media may have of them.

“We can’t control the externals and what people say about us, in either a positive or a negative light, but I am certain that it will not distract the Dublin players.

“I have witnessed the mental resolve and mental strength that they apply to every task and the great motivation they have.

“They hold themselves accountable and their ambition is a joy to behold.”

Echoing the views of Armagh’s Paul Grimley about the fourth estate, his captain Stephen Cluxton also suggested that controlling expectations within the camp was as simple as keeping them “away from the media.”

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Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Cluxton’s interlude may have been in jest but you believe this group of players and management are so focused on their current goal of winning back-to-back All-Ireland titles that anything, even positive press, would serve as a distraction.

Indeed, Gavin insists their focus was so firmly on the Monaghan game they never even considered who their semi-final opponents might be.

And despite the dominant nature of their campaign so far, Gavin feels anything less than the high standards set over their last four games could see them dumped out of the championship.

“In the first half [against Monaghan], especially when we scored the two goals, we took our opportunities and kept the scoreboard moving.

“We had lots of chances in the second half that we didn’t take and that is one of the areas where we still have room to grow and improve.

“If we stay stagnant then the other teams will catch us.”

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