THEY MAY HAVE achieved the desired result on Saturday night in Croke Park against Laois but Dublin boss Pat Gilroy had no qualms in highlighting the flaws that were evident in their display.
The reigning All-Ireland champions continue to be unbeaten in this year’s championship yet their failure to get into full flow is a primary cause for concern as they get set for a last four showdown with Mayo on September 2nd.
“If we play like that again we’ll be out of the championship. There’s a lot of areas where we need to improve. You can’t be creating the amount of chances that we did in the first-half and not take them when a team is playing as defensively as Laois can play. Our midfield functioned reasonably well for good patches but we didn’t make that count. We have a tonne of work to do, there’s no question about that.
“We expected Laois to close down a lot of the space which they did. They tackled very hard. We created a lot of good chances in the first-half and if we’d taken them, we could have been a lot more comfortable. They were the best opposition we’ve met so far. They were very strong, very well-organised. We’ve a serious amount of work to get it right. It’s not where we’d want to be in terms of performance but a lot of credit has to go to Laois for that.”
Dublin’s cause was not helped by the loss of star forward Alan Brogan who suffered a recurrence of his groin injury in the build-up to the game which prevented him from starting.
“He did a little bit of damage to it on Friday,” revealed Gilroy. “We’ll have to wait and see and get it re-scanned. He was just kicking the ball and it wasn’t right. That was the plan that he’d be playing. But on Friday night he was in pain so we have to get it scanned again. The big thing that Alan does is create the scores.”
Gilroy did pay tribute to the performance of youngster Ciaran Kilkenny when he came on as a substitute in the second-half. The Castleknock youngster starred for the county’s All-Ireland U21 winning team earlier this year and is now starting to make his mark at senior level.
“Ciaran was doing his Leaving Cert until the middle of June and he hadn’t trained for six weeks before that. He was a little bit out of shape when he arrived to us after the Leaving and it has taken him the little while to really get up to the tempo. The last two weeks he has been really flying and again I thought he showed a lot of maturity for a young guy when he came one.”