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Dublin manager Jim Gavin before the game at Croke Park.

Dublin manager Jim Gavin before the game at Croke Park.

Jim Gavin: ‘We will regroup’

By William Dunne

As Fionn Fitzgerald lifted the Allianz Division 1 trophy for Kerry this evening, it officially brought Dublin’s record breaking 36 game League and Championship unbeaten streak to an end.

Following what was a captivating end to this year’s League it now leaves Jim Gavin and his team in an unfamiliar place – a losing dressing room.

Shortly after the defeat Gavin spoke of his disappointment about his side’s unforced errors. “You couldn’t fault the preparations,” Gavin remarked. “The team selection? Absolutely. That’s my responsibility, we’d have to have a look at that. Did we start the right players did we bring the right players in,” Gavin said.

“We worked the ball up the field and just turned it over needlessly. Kicked it away, hand passed it away, very uncharacteristic, but it certainly punished us. It put us in a very tough position going down the stretch.

“So it’s ultimately my responsibility, but the preparations went very well this week, great energy, great focus by the players. So we knew it was going to be a very tense game. Which it turned out to be,” Gavin said.

Gavin also spoke positively of his side’s attacking mindset, but admits Dublin may have been guilty of over-doing it at times.

He said: “The boys will always play with ambition no matter what the situation they’re in and whatever way teams set up against them.

“But they always play with an ambitious style of football. We tried to keep doing it today, forced it a little bit maybe.”

Gavin noted that the majority of the panel didn’t return until late January and that they are hoping to respond in the Leinster Championship and All Ireland series. “We have eight weeks to go until the Championship. We will regroup and go hard at it again.

“To find ourselves in National League Final is a bonus. Of course we wanted to perform and win today, it just didn’t happen and we have to reflect on those reasons and as I said ultimately it’s my responsibility.”

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