Gavin: Monaghan Gave Dublin ‘Stern Examination’
The score line hinted otherwise but Jim Gavin insisted his Dublin team received a “stern examination” from Monaghan at Croke Park.
The Dubs swept to a 17-point All-Ireland quarter-final win, their biggest winning margin of their four-game Championship campaign so far.
“I think it was a stern examination today – if Dublin didn’t bring a performance to Croke Park, we wouldn’t have got the result,” insisted Gavin.
“Any dip in form, Monaghan would have hurt us. And to that end, it was job done.
“We just view it as a win, there was a job to be done today by the team and we are thankful that they did that and applied themselves in the right way.
“The success they had was based on hard work and that’s what they demonstrated. There are lots of tired minds and tired bodies in that Dublin dressing-room.
“Any dip in form, Monaghan would have hurt us” – Jim Gavin
“We knew going into the game we would have to produce a performance to beat a Monaghan side that continues to be improving as well.”
Monaghan manager Malachy O’Rourke admitted that his team received a ‘harsh lesson’ from rampant Dublin who move on now to face Donegal in the semi-finals.
“We went out with a plan, we had looked at Dublin and we felt the best way to play them was to try and contain the space that they were going to operate in,” said O’Rourke.
“For the first 20 minutes, that worked very well. We would have liked to have scored more but we felt we were frustrating Dublin fairly well.
“If we didn’t concede the goals, it would have given us a sort of foothold in the game to push on but that’s what Dublin can do.
They got the first goal, the second goal and it left us chasing the game and that’s a very difficult thing to do against a top class side.”
Asked about how much the seven day turnaround from their fatiguing extra-time win over Kildare impacted on Monaghan, O’Rourke admitted it was significant.
“It looked out there tonight that our energy levels weren’t at the level we would have liked,” he said. “In fairness to the boys, they worked very hard. But once Dublin got the goals, we were always chasing the game.”(Rte.ie)
Image Credit:INPHO/Donall Farmer.