‘We are going up to Dublin to win’ – Burke

Roscommon manager Davy Burke is under far more pressure in his second year in the position – for a number of reasons.

The ‘bounce’ that every manager tends to experience in their first year has gone. Now, after relegation to Division Two and a disappointing defeat to Mayo in the Connacht semi-final, the Kildare native needs a positive campaign in the All-Ireland series and will be hoping to steer his charges to a quarter-final place at least.

Dublin, Mayo and Cavan lie in wait for the Rossies, with the current All-Ireland champions first up this weekend.

Chatting to People Sport recently, Burke began by assessing the state of play within the Roscommon camp since that Mayo defeat.

“Things have gone well since the Mayo game. We took seven or eight days off and I think that break was very beneficial… the lads came back really keen and we have a very good month of work done since – and I have been happy with that”.

There have been a couple of additions to the panel since the Roscommon U-20 side’s campaign ended at  the All-Ireland semi-final stage.

“Shane McGinley has been brought into the panel and Senan Lambe is back with us too – but he was on the panel earlier in the year.

“In terms of injuries, we are very close to having a full clean sheet for the campaign. Davy Murray and Ultan Harney were injured but both have made great progress and will be available for game time against Dublin”.

The quick turnaround between games is something that the Roscommon manager has been thinking about, with Burke noting that Mayo come to Hyde Park a week on from this weekend’s Dublin challenge.

“We have to try and ensure that we keep things fresh for that game as well as (for) Croke Park, so we have a bit of thinking to do on that score”.

Last year, Roscommon surprised most observers by drawing with Dublin. What is the manager’s level of ambition on this occasion?

“We fully believe that we can put it up to the Dubs. We believe we are a top tier team and our approach is that we will be going to Croke Park to win. We will have a very strong squad travelling up there and I am convinced that when we get our best team on the field we are as good as any of them, so we will have no fear going up there”.

Burke admits that every game now is a big one. “Yes it’s intense now. All the games are big ones. Dublin in Croke Park, followed by a match against our big rivals Mayo… we did a lot right against Mayo when we played in the championship but we have a chance to put that result right and the match against Cavan will be very intense too. So look, it will be a very tough month ahead but we are looking forward to it”.

Finally, Burke says that Roscommon are relishing this latest glamour fixture against Dublin as their campaign opener.

“We have all played in Croke Park a number of times so there is no fear there (on that front). We are going up to Dublin to win and get two points on the board and start the round robin campaign with a victory” he concluded.