Dublin defender Philly McMahon accuses Monaghan of celebrating too soon in League encounter at Clones
DUBLIN defender Philly McMahon has hit out at Monaghan for thinking they'd pulled off a famous win over the All-Ireland champions when they surged six-points clear in Clones.
Monaghan moved 1-12 to 0-9 ahead of the four-in-a-row league winners with just over 20 minutes to go during Sunday's crucial final round Division One tie.
Both sides were chasing a win to secure a final place and back to back All-Star McMahon claimed that some Monaghan players got carried away and celebrated in his face after Jack McCarron's 41st minute goal.
Dublin fought back to win by three points and outscored Monaghan heavily in the closing stages with Jack McCaffrey's injury-time goal securing their latest win.
Jim Gavin's team fought back similarly to rescue results against Donegal, Tyrone and Kerry and McMahon said that Monaghan simply weren't prepared to go to the wire like Dublin were.
"I think mentally we're tough," said McMahon.
"We know that we won't stop. We're going to play right until the end. We played Monaghan on Sunday, when they scored the goal you have players running up into your face celebrating and you think, 'hold on a second, they think this game is over'.
"And they're probably thinking in their heads, 'when is this game going to be over?' For us, it's not like that. We nearly want the ref to play 10 minutes more. Whether we're winning comfortably or it's a tight game (we keep going), that's the way I look at it."
Asked if Monaghan thought the game was over with 20 minutes to go, McMahon nodded.
"Possibly, you'd have to ask them that but it seemed that way," he said. "But we finished stronger than them."
Dublin's reward for extending their unbeaten run across the league and Championship to 36 games is a fifth consecutive Allianz league final place this weekend.
They will play Kerry and that will give the Kingdom an opportunity to arrest their terrible run of results against Dublin having lost 10 of their last 13 competitive encounters.
McMahon suggested that Kerry, once noted for their swashbuckling style of play, have adopted defensive tactics and said there was plenty of off the ball activity when the sides drew in Tralee last month.
That game contained 13 yellow cards, eight of which were dished out to Kerry, and Dublin legend Paul Curran subsequently claimed that the Kingdom should be 'ashamed' of how defensive and negative they have become.
"They were certainly more physical in the last game in Tralee," said McMahon.
"There was certainly more pulling and dragging on both teams. It's probably not the orthodox way Kerry are known for but if that's the way they have to play to win games, that's up to them."
Among that list of Dublin wins over Kerry is the 2011 and 2015 All-Ireland finals, the 2013 and 2016 semi-finals, and last year's League decider.
McMahon shrugged when asked if the Kerry players may be a little spooked by Dublin at this stage, perhaps explaining their increased physicality.
"It could be, I don't know, you'd have to ask Kerry that but there was certainly a bit of off the ball stuff (in Tralee) but again, that's why the game is so exciting," said the Ballymun man.
"I'm not saying I commend off the ball stuff but so what, let's get on with it. If it's something that's really bad then let the officials deal with it but let the two of us go at it and see who comes out the victors."