Jim Gavin on... slow starts, style, and the physicality of modern football

The Dublin boss has his say ahead of tomorrow’s quarter-final clash with Cork.

Image: ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

On Dublin’s slow starts

“The aim for us is to finish strong, to be one point ahead of the team at the end of the 70 minutes. That’s the mantra.

“Whether we’re up or down by a couple of scores after 10 minutes or at half-time, that’s only a break in play. It’s all about the finish.”

On Dublin’s style of play

“We’re trying to play open, expansive, creative football, the way we believe it should be played.

“We take very much a skill-based approach to the game, be that in our kick-passing; we look heavily at our defensive duties and our tackling as one of the technical skills that we’ve worked hard on, and we’ve always preached to the players the mantra of tackling the ball.”

Cian O’Sullivan, James McCarthy and Ger Brennan chase down Meath’s Graham Reilly (©INPHO/Morgan Treacy)

On physicality

“It’s as physical now as when I was playing football so I don’t see any change in it.”

On the pressure felt by referees

“The referees are under pressure, as are players and managers. That’s the cauldron of championship football.

“The thing that has impressed me with the referees, and I’ve been working with them for six years from my time with the under-21s and I’ve had maybe more contact with them now at senior level, they’re all highly motivated men. They’re ambitious and they wouldn’t be doing what they do if they didn’t have a great grá for the game.

“Why would you put yourself under that stress in the cauldron of championship football, to be under that pressure, if you didn’t enjoy what you’re doing?”

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Eoghan O’Gara and Kevin Reilly (©INPHO/Donall Farmer)

On Dublin’s discipline

“We spoke to the players at the start of the season of the requirements. Our philosophy was discipline, respect for officials, respect for Gaelic games and respect for the county that they represent.

“When they get a county jersey, it is a responsibility. Talking about the red mist…that’s unacceptable. We don’t want to see that from a Dublin footballer. Whatever other teams do, we don’t promote that cynicism and we don’t promote that red mist.

“Certainly, some times players will get frustrated. To be human is to err, so you will get that in games. But generally, I’ve been very happy with their discipline within games.”

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Niall Kelly

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