Daly admits Dubs pay price for relaxed approach to ‘free’ game



“Jayz lads would ye not be out watching the other game,” he smiles at a threadbare media posse waiting to intercept him. Daly’s not got much appetite for picking through the wasteland of detail from a game that never caught sufficient heat to be declared a contest. But the journalists have been waiting.

“I’m disappointed,” he sighs with a heavy shrug. “We stood off and if you stand off those lads you will be punished. We would have done a heavy couple of weeks’ training but, ah, it is hard to put your finger on it now after watching that. You could be pointing to the difference between Division 1 and Division 2 and these things, but the basics of going to the ball… go out and trust yourself and go to it and if you make a mistake, so what?”

You have to suspect his thoughts might be wandering back to a year ago when Dublin’s league campaign ended with remarkably similar arithmetic (0-19 to 4-21), albeit in a relegation play-off against Galway.

“It’s a bit of a kick now,” he acknowledges of the 15-point defeat to Tipp. “But the only thing is we knew we would be going down to Wexford anyway on June 8 and that’s the target date for us. The league has been fairly okay to us and it is disappointing to finish like that because I thought we were going to put up a big performance.

“I don’t know whether we did too much training the last 10 days or whatever, but whether fellas somewhere mentally relaxed in the back of their mind after getting promotion… there was a lot of talk of a free match and maybe we were guilty of that. But I thought we would come and have a go.”

For Eamon O’Shea, Tipp’s first league final appearance since 2009 must – whatever the outcome now against Kilkenny – register as an instant return on his efforts to rehabilitate a hugely talented squad.

“I wouldn’t be entirely happy with everything that went on there, but we’ve been training really well for the last eight weeks or so,” he reflects. “You just look at it as a manager and think can you bring your training form into the game. And the pleasing thing is that we’re evolving into being able to do that a bit.

“But I would caution everybody – it’s still very early in the season yet. You won’t really know for another month or so where people are.”

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