Peter Canavan warns Kerry not to fall into trap that Tyrone did last season
"The danger is a wee bit like Tyrone last year..."
The drop-off in form from 2021 to 2022 for the Red Hand county was startling, as they didn't seem able to shake the hangover of their success in the previous year.
Initially everyone just assumed that they were getting back up to speed, but they soon ran out of road and before they knew it, they had crashed out of the championship.
The Kingdom conquered all last season, and now with the target firmly on their backs, it is their turn to try and get their feet back on the ground again.
"It’s a difficult one because a lot of people will be saying that they’ve got time on their hands," Canavan told 2FM’s Game On.
"[They’ll say] they’ll get to the Munster final and there’s a good chance they’ll win Munster so they’ll be seeded number one in their group for the round robin and that’s when the real Kerry will stand up.
"The danger is a wee bit like Tyrone last year. After they won it, everyone was saying exactly the same thing – they have plenty of time and it’ll come. It didn’t.
"I still believe that the quality is there, they have another couple of players to get back into the fold and it is the start of March after all.
"I know Jack O’Connor was concerned, he wasn’t that happy with how the game panned out. Of course he sets his team out to win – maybe a wee bit disappointed that he’s not getting more out of the fringe players... but I certainly wouldn't be writing them off, definitely not."
Concerns over Kerry's defeat to Tyrone last Sunday shouldn't all be put down to the champion's failure to perform, and a lot of credit needs to be given to the Ulster side who managed to step up their game.
"I think some people are maybe overplaying the Kerry side of it, the Kerry element.
"The bottom line was Tyrone were bottom of Division 1 and regardless of who they were playing yesterday, it was a home game and it was imperative that Tyrone came out of there with two points.
"The fact that it was Kerry, All-Ireland champions, and Tyrone have been on the receiving end to a few drubbings from Kerry, if you’re not to the pitch of the game, if every player isn’t playing close to their true potential, then Tyrone were going to be in trouble.
"I think that was why we got a response from so many Tyrone players. They were animated yesterday like they weren't in any other game. It gave you an idea of how important it was.
"We’re a proud county and we don’t want to end up being relegated. I’m not saying we’re out of the woods yet but if we had lost yesterday I think we were as good as relegated."
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