Dublin's early season form continued with an emphatic win over Kerry in Killarney on Sunday, as the problems mount for Kingdom boss Eamonn Fitzmaurice.
Kerry scored just four points in their 1-11 to 0-4 defeat, their second in just two games in the new NFL Division One season.
Having failed to score in the entire second half in Mayo a week earlier, questions are being asked of the Kerry team and their new boss.
But Fitzmaurice is adamant there is no need to panic as he awaits the return of several big names, including Paul Galvin and Colm Cooper.
He told RTE, “We’ve had a bad week, with two awful performances. Obviously, we’re not happy, but that said, you won’t find us pushing the panic button.
“It’s a very competitive league and we knew that in these first two games our side would be experimental to some degree. At the same time, we can’t be happy about the way played in Castlebar last week and against Dublin. We have a lot of work to do, but as I said we won’t start panicking now.”
Despite scoring just one goal and 10 points in their opening two league games, the Kerry boss has confidence in his attack.
He added, “Our forwards have not got going yet. A lot of the younger lads have been playing in attack. In an ideal world, you’d like to have a few more experienced players leading the charge.
“For the development of those up and coming guys, maybe experiencing the tough days of the last two weeks is no bad thing regarding their maturity and maximizing potential. They just have to keep at it.”
Trips to Kildare and Donegal await Kerry after a three week break in the league program which will see several players return to the squad.
“We just have to keep working and the three-week break will help us. Kildare have had a good win over Cork and are unbeaten,” Fitzmaurice said.
“But we are determined to do better and get points on the board.”
The new Kerry boss, whose club side Finuge lost to Cookstown in the All-Ireland intermediate final on Saturday night, says he was well aware of the potential problems in the early league games.
He said, “We had mentioned it to the players that we could be in a position after the first two league games where we would have zero points because we knew they were two seriously tough games for a developing team.
“In an ideal world, you would love to have thrown them in with a more experienced team around them. We’re still going to use them, we’re still going to have great time for them. As I said last week, this is part of their development.”
Dublin remains the form team after their impressive Killarney performance, but manager Jim Gavin was annoyed that only Michael Darragh Mcauley received a red card after a clash with Kerry’s Kieran Donaghy, who was booked.
Gavin said, “He has got a facial wound shall we say. He reacted, which isn’t the right thing to do as I said before. I don’t accept it but he reacted so the two guys obviously were striking.
“It happened in a previous game in the O’Byrne Cup final. There has to be a consistency here. I certainly don’t tolerate players lifting their hand or attempting to strike.”
Dublin expect to have teenage sensation Ciaran Kilkenny available again after his club Castleknock lost their All-Ireland Club JFC semifinal replay to Kenmare on Saturday.
Gavin added: “He has got the under-21 championship on the 19th so that’s his priority. And that’s all the under-21 lads’ priorities.
“Depending on how that goes, he’ll probably be with us later in the month, hopefully.”
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