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It won’t be for the purists: Sean Cavanagh

It was just two years ago but Sean Cavanagh is expecting the Dublin team he'll face this Saturday to be unrecognisable from the team his Tyrone side blitzed when they last met in the Championship.

The fancied Dubs capitulated in the 2008 quarter-final in the white heat of one of Tyrone's best performances en route to the All-Ireland.

Under Pat Gilroy's regime, Dublin have made plenty of changes and Tyrone are expecting a steelier mindset and a meaner defence. And while league form has been shown up as largely irrelevant this summer, Cavanagh and Tyrone are still smarting from the day Dublin came to Healy Park and relegated them to Division 2.

It marked Mickey Harte's card. Dublin came to play, worked hard and won 2-14 to 1-11. Tyrone's defence went man to man on the Dublin forwards that day, and that's certain not to happen again on Saturday. And Cavanagh (27) said the quarter-final won't be one for the purists. Well, one purist in particular.

“I'm sure (Pat) Spillane won't be too happy,” he said with a wry smile, referring to the ‘Sunday Game' analyst. “It might not be the nicest game to watch for a neutral.

“Not every game is going to be played the way some of these Kerry purists want to play it.

“Football has changed; teams are playing very tactically and sweepers are coming back. We just have to get used to it.

“We have been playing with the sweeper. Saturday's game will probably be similar. They'll play a defensive game.”

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph