DUBLIN stumbled through to this year’s All-Ireland semi-finals, with a less than convincing performance against a gritty Laois side in Croke Park.
The Dubs, who had Alan Brogan replaced by Diarmuid Connolly before throw-in following his failure to recover from a groin injury sustained in their win over Meath in the Leinster final, were far from impressive overall, with manager Pat Gilroy admitting that his side has a “serious amount of work to do”.
Speaking to the Irish Independent in the aftermath of their close 1-12 to 0-12 win over Laois, Gilroy blasted his team’s performance, stating that if they play like that against Mayo in the upcoming semi-finals, then they will not retain the Sam Maguire.
“We’d too many misses and were not as good going forward,” Gilroy added. “They’re the best opposition we’ve met, they were very well organised and we didn’t deal with it. We’ve a serious amount of work to do to get it right and it’s not where we want to be in terms of performance.”
Dublin suffered in almost every position during last Saturday’s clash, with Laois putting in undoubtedly their strongest 70 minutes this year.
In what was a ferocious challenge from Laois, they could never escape from Dublin’s grasp, with centre-back Kevin Nolan popping up from defence to score a great point to put three between the sides.
Laois manager Justin McNulty, meanwhile, was disappointed with the result, feeling that the chance was there for his side to sneak a shock win.
“I feel that we could have done more,” McNulty admitted. “There is no player in that dressing room who is happy or content; they think they could have done more. They showed they have true character and I think it’s a good platform for the team to develop.”
“We need to improve our attacking approach and create more chances although that is probably attributed to Dublin’s defensive system which they had prepared very well and is very much on par with what Donegal too, getting 13 men behind the ball.”