Dubs 'must start quickly'
Dublin captain Collie Moran is hoping that his side will come out of the traps rather more sharply against Kerry on Sunday than they did against Derry in their Bank of Ireland All Ireland quarter-final.
Moran, an influential player in a half-forward line that nonetheless tends to blow hot and cold, warns that should the Kingdom get a head start on his side, then they could prove difficult to catch.
"We have said all along that we have wanted this year to be better than last year," said Moran.
"We now find ourselves back at the same stage as we were at this time last year and while this is great, obviously we want to go further.
"It has been a long season to get back to where we are and hopefully we can make it count. Against Derry the last day we took a while to get into the groove and Mark Vaughan's free-taking proved crucial in keeping us in the game.
"Then in the second-half when we pulled ahead they came back at us and Barry Cahill made a great block virtually on the goal line. That was a great relief for us."
Moran's admission that Dublin can improve in some areas has already been endorsed by his manager Paul Caffrey.
"There were aspects of our game that we needed to work on and we have done so in the interim," points out Caffrey.
Moran pinpoints areas in which he felt Dublin fell down against Derry.
"We lost possession at times in that game and we maybe should have been able to show a little more composure in the closing stages," he admits.
Moran, no stranger to playing against Kerry, believes that the present Dublin side is well-equipped for Sunday's challenge.
"We have matured more, but obviously everything depends on how you perform on the day. We took time to settle the last day, but we will need to get into our stride early against Kerry - that's important," he insisted.
Moran's leadership has been a solid factor in Dublin's progress into the semi-final, but the skipper stresses that the team is now laced with experienced players who can set the perfect example on Sunday.
"You have guys like Ciaran Whelan, Jason Sherlock, Stephen Cluxton, David Henry, Bryan Cullen and others who have a fair few games under their belts and they are well capable of setting a lead. Obviously it's great to be playing in Croke Park with the big support behind us, but at the end of the day we have to perform - that's really what it is all about," added Moran.