Seánie Johnston believes Cavan can make use of their height advantage in certain areas of the pitch to give themselves hope of pulling off an upset against Dublin in Saturday's All-Ireland football semi-final.

Speaking to RTÉ's Game On ahead of Saturday's clash against Dublin, former Cavan and Kildare forward Johnston said size was a facet Cavan possessed in comparison to some of the challengers Dublin have faced and could use it to their advantage.

"What Cavan have is size and not just in midfield. They have the option of Thomas Galligan going in there and at times being very influential. Gearóid McKiernan can go in there at times and Conor Madden got the goal from a high ball against Donegal," he said.

"They have James Smith who played midfield in the Ulster final and was exceptional, so he can go in and win high ball and they've another couple of players who are monsters.

"So they have that option and I suppose what that does is if they get a bit of joy off that, it kind of sucks the Dublin defence deeper into their own '45 and maybe causes a Brian Fenton or someone like that to drop that bit deeper"

Johnston also feels the relatively low key build-up to the semi-final has been beneficial for the team's preparation.

They beat Donegal to win their first Ulster title since 1997 but with restrictions amid the Covid-19 pandemic, celebrations were more muted than in normal circumstances.

He feels the way the last two weeks have played out would allow Mickey Graham's side to focus on the daunting task of trying to topple Dublin.

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"I spoke to a member of the Cavan management team. So last time we won Ulster was 1997 and the place went mad and the whole place was crazy," he said.

"Obviously, pubs and all were open [in 1997] and it was mad times at that time. But in terms of Cavan now, they haven't been able to really celebrate it. It hasn't been mad.

"The players were back at work probably on the Monday and they trained Tuesday, gym Wednesday and then Thursday and Saturday. 

"They got back to reality very quickly, so they're going into this All-Ireland semi-final without an unbelievable amount of hype.

"Everyone is extremely excited and clapping them on the back and so on but there hasn't been massive celebrations. They haven't been dragged around the county here, there and everywhere from Shannon Gales to Kingscourt and top to bottom of the county.

"They've been able to focus in for the last 13 or 14 days for this game and they're going to need all that focus and we're under no illusions. But they're in a good place I think."  

Given they are facing the "best team of all time" in Johnston's view, he believes Cavan will need to bring the highest level of intensity possible to give themselves a chance.

Watch Dublin v Cavan (Saturday 5.30pm) and Mayo v Tipperary (Sunday 3.30pm)  live on RTÉ2, listen to live commentary on RTÉ Radio 1 and get live blogs, reports and reaction on RTÉ Sport Online and the RTÉ News app. Highlights on The Sunday Game, 9.30pm RTÉ2.

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