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Gavin keeps it all tight-lipped ahead of final

 

By Declan Bogue

A trip to the dentist, or a Jim Gavin post-match interview? I'll go with the dentist, thank you.

It's not that Gavin is unpleasant, far from it, but he drains the life out of any question with his mantra that the team is 'the thing'. He has a bizarre, and in a lot of ways admirable, non-ego which transfers onto his players.

The proof of that lies in the fact that former players of the year Bernard Brogan and Michael Darragh Macauley played no minutes for Dublin yesterday. And Diarmuid Connolly, tipped by many to come for a starting berth, had to wait until time added on until his miserable summer was re-started after serving a 12-week ban for a gentle shove on Down linesman Ciaran Branagan.

Asked about Brogan and Macauley being held over, the Round Towers man pondered if it is hard to keep them happy.

"No, they are a very focused group. They will naturally be very disappointed, all the players that didn't play today," said Gavin.

"Some didn't travel, but I know that when we meet up next week that they will be on script and they will do their very best for the team. That has been their influence among each other, to just keep pushing each other.

"The team selection is outside of their control but they are all playing well and the next three weeks will be interesting."

Pushed on the nature of the challenge, and how Tyrone were meant to provide something very different to the previous opposition, he stated: "We see it as a challenge. Lots of teams have set up in different guises but quite similar to Tyrone against us in recent years. We enjoy it. We've embraced it and we have to play to our best to represent Dublin."

And then attention was turned to John Small, who bullied Peter Harte around the Croke Park pitch, if sailing a little close to the wind especially after his booking in the 23rd minute.

"Yeah, John did well, he played his part," came the reply.

And then a Mayo question.

"Yeah, any time we have played them there has always been a bounce of a ball between us. Absolutely."

And asked if a three-in-a-row would rock his socks?

"Ah, I don't think so. This team is too focused for that."

And that's what you get. A magnificent football manager, but a hopeless interview.

Belfast Telegraph

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