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Jim Gavin insists Dubs have plenty to work on

Updated: Monday, 21 Jul 2014 17:00 | Comments

Jim Gavin and Diarmuid Connolly celebrate after Dublin's Leinster SFC final win over Meath
Jim Gavin and Diarmuid Connolly celebrate after Dublin's Leinster SFC final win over Meath

Dublin manager Jim Gavin wasn’t resting on the laurels of a ninth Leinster crown in ten years as he was critical of some of his forwards’ finishing in their 3-20 to 1-10 provincial final win over Meath.

The Dublin boss described his side's display as 'patchy' and pointed out plenty of areas that needed improvement.

“For patches of that game we strung together some good scores, and from a coaching perspective you’d be happy with some of the displays,” he said.

“The performance out of the defence and midfield was impressive in parts. I’m a little bit disappointed in the end. We could probably have closed it out a little bit better.

 “It was a good start, but we’d look at the last quarter of the game, where we lost concentration with some moves and some of our shot selection wasn’t what it should be."

However, Gavin conceded he had no issues with his players’ application and ability to follow instructions.

“I think it was a complete performance,” he said. “They worked hard for each other and they displayed a good attitude throughout the game so we are very happy in that regard.

“But overall we have to be happy with today. The Delaney Cup means a lot to the county, players and the supporters.

“Certainly there were patches of that game where the players set out to play to the game plan and they certainly played it to the best of their ability. In that regard it was pleasing.”

Meanwhile, Meath manager Mick O'Dowd was disappointed with his side's display after an impressive victory over Kildare in the Leinster semi-final.

He said: "Some Meath players gave outstanding displays but, as a collective, Dublin had a higher standard. 

“Coming into the game we knew that Dublin would show us huge respect from the progress that we’ve been making.

“We were expecting one of their best displays of the summer, which I think they gave, but we were bitterly disappointed with the performance we gave because I don’t think it reflected us properly.

“Look, there’s a gap in terms of that physicality and intensity that you have to be comfortable playing at, as a unit.

"Some Meath players gave outstanding displays but, as a collective, Dublin had a higher standard.

"For us to improve and develop we have to become a top-eight team, that we’re more comfortable as a group and that each individual is comfortable playing at that level.”

O'Dowd was disappointed at referee Padraig Hughes' decision to award a free rather than play advantage when Stephen Bray had the ball in the net in the 27th minute.

“You obviously wouldn’t come in here and say it was the difference, because it wasn’t. But at that moment in the game we wanted to withstand the onslaught that would come.

"I think there were six points in it at the time, that would have been reduced to three and that would have been good for our momentum. As the challenger you need the decisions going your way.”

O'Dowd believes that the increased margin between the sides (16 points as opposed to the seven in last year's Leinster final) was down to Dublin being better prepared for their rivals' challenge this time out. 

“There might have been an element of surprise in our performance to them last year, which wasn’t there this year," said O'Dowd. "I think they are probably a step on from last year looking at them. 

"They were quite clinical. I know there were a couple more chances they could have taken. We weren’t as clinical as we needed to be. We were the challengers today. We needed to take every chance.”

Dublin are overwhelming favourites to retain the Sam Maguire, with odds as low as 4/9 being quoted ahead of a quarter-final meeting with a qualifier round 4B winner (Meath/Armagh, Monaghan/Kildare).

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