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Dublin boss Dessie Farrell gives all the credit to his players, and improvement from the new faces



Paddy and John Small

Paddy and John Small

�INPHO/James Crombie

Paddy and John Small

If you want entertainment, the post All-Ireland football final press conference is not where you get it. During all his final wins, Jim Gavin kept it civil, perfunctory and boring as possible.

It's unfair to ask Dessie Farrell on a freezing night in front of nobody to change it. But he hadn't any intention of either.

"It's all about the players. I'm just thrilled for them. it was about facilitating them to be the best they can be," he explained in coach-speak.

"That idea of seeing that improvement. We'd 10 new players to come in. Some had left. We brought in some fresh faces, new blood, and that was important as well.

"It was trying to get the dynamic right, the chemistry right, and there was challenges to all of that. Because it's not easy to come into a dressing room that has the type of characters in that dressing room and the success they had.

"It's all about the players. I'm so happy in the way they went about their business."

Dublin had gone about their business in a similar fashion to Limerick this season. Death by a thousand cuts. The two goals they got here were hammer blows to Mayo, totally avoidable, but Dublin knew that they could transpire.

"We had spoken about it," said Farrell.

"It comes down to the execution. We had probably fluffed our lines in some of the previous games having created some more.

"So we focused in on that in trying to make sure that if we got them, if they were presented to us, that the execution would be better."

He admitted that Mayo are an unpredictable beast to play against.

"Their high press, that high level of intensity that they bring, was always going to be difficult. We said we needed to be patient, that cracks would appear or the openings would be created if we hung in there and tried to protect the ball as best we can. We picked off two goals in the first half on that basis which was nice to see - and then the black card changed the dynamic a little bit. Threw up a different set of circumstances. And we had to manage our way through that. I think that set us up then."

James Horan has now lost five All-Ireland finals, two as a player and now three as a manager.


James Horan

James Horan

�INPHO/Tommy Dickson

James Horan


"We did a lot of things right," he said afterwards.

"We were still in it with 12 or 13 minutes to go. But we ran maybe ran out of juice a little bit and were a bit loose with some of the possession at times. And that cost us.

"Dublin got stronger and stronger as the game went on. Some of their subs made a big difference."

Belfast Telegraph