Cunningham: Dublin players have ‘to decide if that level of performance is good enough’

September 16, 2021 0 By HearthstoneYarns

ONE GAME INTO Dublin’s league campaign and things are already looking precarious for Ger Cunningham’s side at the foot of the Division 1A table.

A 16-point thumping to the All-Ireland champions is hardly time to press the panic button, but it is a confidence-sapping result for this young squad.

Four of the starting team tonight were minors in 2016, and it remains to be seen how they’ll react to this.

Cunningham kept his team in the dressing-room for 20 minutes following the game, and he pulled no punches when analysing their performance afterwards.

“I think they’ve got to decide if that level of performance is good enough,” he said.

“It’s okay for us on the sideline to be saying it is or it isn’t. It’s about expectations for themselves, it’s about what they expect of themselves.

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“Obviously that’s not good enough so they have to go away and reflect themselves – what went well for them and what went wrong – and how they can learn from it.

“Hopefully they’ll take the hurt from the performances. I think there’s certainly more from some of the guys we have there tonight, but it didn’t happen for some of the guys, it didn’t happen for them at all.

“The best thing about it is you can park it and move on and go back out next week and get a chance to redeem yourself.”

On a positive note, Eoghan O’Donnell marshalled Seamus Callanan quite well and he’s the type of player Cunningham can build a defence around.

“Eoghan O’Donnell has been playing that calibre of hurling for the last 12 months, he’s been one of our leaders, he’s been outstanding. What we need to find is to get that level of performance in the forward line.

“When the ball goes up there it’s not sticking enough and we’re finding it hard to get scores. Hopefully we’ll be better the next day, but yeah he certainly gave a superb performance.

“I think in general the backs suffered from a lot of ball coming down on top of them, the ball didn’t stick up in the forwards enough.”

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