CHARLIE Redmond has admonished Tyrone for their safety-first approach ahead of the visit of All-Ireland champions Dublin to Healy Park on Saturday evening.
The Red Hands endured a disappointing start to the league with a low-scoring 1-9 to 0-8 defeat to Galway at the weekend – a result which has unnerved some supporters expecting a more positive brand of football after last year’s limp showing against the Dubs in the All-Ireland semi-final.
Redmond believes that Tyrone need to throw off the shackles a la Mayo if they’re to have any chance whatsoever against Jim Gavin’s side.
“The only way you’re going to beat Dublin is by attacking them like Mayo do and by getting in their faces.
“Do not give Dublin possession and let them come onto you because if Tyrone do that again, Dublin will beat them again.
“The team that have put Dublin to the pin of their collar every time in the last five years has been Mayo. Take a leaf out of their book, mimic them and Tyrone will get over the line some day.
“If Mickey puts his team out in a defensive mode, and I’ve nothing to suggest that he’s going to do otherwise, I think they’re going to have a difficult 70 minutes.”
Redmond became something of a hate-figure in Tyrone after temporarily staying on the pitch after receiving a red card in the 1995 All-Ireland final. The following comments won’t endear him to all in the county either.
“I’m hoping this era of defensive gaelic football is coming to an end. What it does is that it promotes badness in our game.
“I know football is all about winning but you have to also remember that we’re competing for the hearts and minds of the young when there’s soccer, golf, basketball and rugby attracting their attention.We’re turning people away.
He added: “But even at club level you’re seeing the blanket defence go out of the game and I’m disappointed that Tyrone are continuing to adopt that style.”
Nevertheless, Redmond expects an improved performance from Tyrone after their surprise defeat to a depleted Galway side. He also believes that Dublin will be keen to keep maintain their recent dominance over the Red Hands.
“You usually get a reaction to a poor performance and no better man to get it than Mickey Harte.
“I’m sure Jim Gavin and the boys going up to Tyrone know there’ll be a reaction and will be fully prepared for it.
“Jim will impress the need to keep the dominance going against Tyrone. It’s incredible to think going into last year’s All-Ireland semi-final that we thought this could be our Waterloo.
“This was a team that we feared going into that game – we didn’t expect to lose but we expected our toughest game so far and it was a walk in the park to be honest.”
A storming third-quarter performance at Croke Park eased All-Ireland holders Dublin to a comfortable win over Kildare in their own league opener. Brian Fenton was man of the match, scoring 1-3 from play, and Redmond said the classy midfielder had a point to prove against his direct opponent.
“Kevin Feely gave him a really good game in the Leinster final against Kildare last year. He probably wanted a little bit of payback, to show he can cope with these big guys at midfield. I think his performance on Saturday night was everything you wanted from a man so young at this part of the season.”