Gavin: Favourites’ Tag Counts For Nothing.
Dublin are warm favourites in the eyes of many to retain their All-Ireland football title, but their position at the head of the betting markets counts for very little, according to manager Jim Gavin.
The Dubs continue their pursuit of Sam Maguire when they take on Monaghan in Saturday’s quarter-final at Croke Park. For Gavin, the focus is very much on Monaghan and the “big threat” presented by Malachy O’Rourke’s outfit.
He scoffs at the suggestion that his side are practically “unbeatable” in the minds of most bookmakers.
Speaking to RTÉ Sport, Gavin said: “First of all, I’m not a gambler, so those odds do not mean much to me.
“Any external comments made about the team, be it positive or negative, don’t influence the group at all. It’s a distraction. One of their key strengths is their mental resolve and mental focus.”
“We realise that to get results it’s about getting a performance from the team, no matter who we play.
“Our focus in our training sessions is on trying to be the best that we can be. If we can get consistency in our performance, then hopefully the results will come. “
Many good Dublin teams in the past failed to deal with the hype, and consequently failed to land silverware when expected.
For Gavin, his approach to dampening down expectations is to solely focus on the next encounter.
“We’re not looking at titles at this stage of the season. We’re looking at our next opposition and the biggest threat to Dublin now is Monaghan,” he added.
“We’ll have to produce a big, big performance to compete with them on Saturday.”
Not for the first time, the Dublin boss is keen to accentuate the strong team ethos surrounding the players he has to work with.
“That word ‘panel’ does not come into our vocabulary at all. It’s about the team collective.
“The players and myself realise we’re in a very privileged position to be representing the county of Dublin.
“With that privilege comes the responsibility of trying to perform in the county jersey.
“The internal dynamic of the squad is that they hold themselves accountable to be the best they can be.” (Rte.ie)
Image Credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE