'The scoreboard at half-time didn't reflect how we had played'


Dublin’s two goals in the last 10 minutes of the first half “knocked the stuffing” out of Cavan, manager Raymond Galligan stated, after what he felt was a positive first-half performance.

“It’s a disappointing result in the manner in which the scoreboard finished up but I think there’s a lot we can work on, lots we can take from it,” said the Lacken clubman.

“I think we had a really good first half in the sense that we went attack-minded after Dublin, we put a really good press on kick-outs. The two goals really knocked the stuffing out of us going in at half-time after working very hard for 25, 30 minutes, it probably didn’t reflect the performance in my eyes in the first half.

“Then you look at the first five minutes of the second half, concede two goals, Dublin’s going to do that, they’re going to punish you for basic mistakes. That side of things is disappointing but at the same time, look, we have bigger games ahead.”

Galligan felt the eight-point half-time gap between the sides wasn’t representative of the balance of play in the first half.

“We felt at half-time we played really well, the scoreboard definitely didn’t reflect the way we played. We played some really good patterns of play, I think we created great scoring opportunities. I think we only scored something like three from eight from the top of the D in the first half so your efficiency has to continue to improve. But I think we’re creating chances. On our side of things, we lots of positives to take from it.

“Okay, we conceded a lot but that’s an area now for us to work on over the next couple of weeks.”

Galligan made a change in goals before the game, with Liam Brady coming in for Gary O’Rourke.

“Liam had a really significant injury back after the first round of the league and he worked very hard to get himself back into contention. Liam went really well over the last two weeks, Gary has had a fantastic league and championship for us as well so it was really about just kind of giving Liam that opportunity.

“I thought we struggled at times on kick-outs but that happens every team, every team does at times struggle with kick-outs against Dublin. But I think overall, yes, we had a lot of inexperience both on the team and on the bench but that’s the only way they’re going to learn and that’s the only way they’re going to improve.

“Injuries and lads that aren’t available is out of our control unfortunately. We did have a number of injuries but we made sure that wasn’t going to be an excuse today, we felt that the lads gave a good account of themselves against a really well-drilled machine that is Dublin, a team that’s going to go very, very far this year in my eyes.”

The manager was happy with how the subs who came on, most with little experience at this level, performed. Asked why Cormac O’Reilly had not been introduced, he said: “They’ve been working really well in training over the last two weeks. I don’t feel the inside line was an area we were struggling with, that’s probably why Cormac didn’t come in, Darragh came in just because we felt there was only the need for one change up front but definitely I felt Paddy, Mark and Ryan did really well also when they came on.

“I’m happy that those guys got the opportunity and they see now what it takes to get up to the level that Dublin are at and unless they’re on the field, they won’t experience that and know what it takes to get there.”

It all comes down to Roscommon now, which was always very likely to be the case.

“I think we were obviously missing a number of bodies there today, we are probably in a race against them with most of them. From day one, the reality was that regardless of had we got a result in round one or round two, we were always going to have to beat Roscommon. That doesn’t change, we’ll do a review on the game and give them time to recover but look., no different to Roscommon, we’ll be putting all our energy in to bring the performance of the year to try and get a result in two weeks’ time.”

Dublin manager Dessie Farrell, meanwhile, urged supporters to keep the faith with the much-maligned championship structure.

“There is a lot of doom and gloom about the championship the last couple of weeks but I think it was around this time last year it really started heating up so I’d expect it to be the same this time round,” Farrell said.

“I think everyone should hold judgement for another couple of weeks have passed and see what the next few games bring.”

Dublin have plenty to work on, said the Na Fianna man.

“Through my eyes there’s definitely bits and pieces we’re going to pick out of that that won’t be good enough when we come up against better opposition. That’s not being disrespectful to Cavan – they’re carrying a few injuries there. They don’t have a full selection available to them,” Farrell said.

“I think the scoreboard flatters us a bit, to be honest. We put together some good moves to get some good goals but there were other aspects of our game that won’t have pleased us.

“Definitely areas to work on between now and the next day.”

He agreed that Dublin were on top at midfield and he felt Cavan really put it up to his side for the first part of the game.

“Yeah, it always gives you that platform if you can control that area, you’re always going to stack the chairs in your favour. But I think the first quarter wasn’t good from our perspective. Some poor decision making, some poor shot execution.

“Second quarter we settled a little bit more, we were a little bit slicker in our movements and our combinations. Went in in a good position at half-time and kicked on from there really.”

“You can never take anything for granted. They have some very decent forwards. The potential for them to hit the net…they looked fairly menacing early on in the first half. So it was important that we stayed vigilant and closed things out. Didn’t concede too many goals chances…maybe one goal chance in the second half.

“But yeah, definitely the third goal was the end of the game as a contest.”