Sean Cavanagh on the Dubs: "Jim Gavin has just made a serious machine there"

Cavanagh was reflecting on a mixed 2016

Sean Cavanagh on the Dubs: "Jim Gavin has just made a serious machine there"

Tyrone's Sean Cavanagh is sent off for a challenge on Mayo's Aidan O'Shea (second yellow). Image: ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

Tyrone's Sean Cavanagh has praised the All Ireland champions Dublin ahead of hopefully renewing hostilities ahead of the 2017 season.

Cavanagh was speaking to gaa.ie where he reflected on a topsy-turvy season which saw Tyrone reclaim the Ulster title before crashing out against Mayo in the All Ireland quarter final - where Cavanagh was sent off. 

He said: “Jim Gavin has just made a serious machine there. But, look, if we didn't think we could beat them we wouldn't be training as hard as we are to try to get up to their level.

“It's up to everyone else to take it on a notch. Okay, they do have more resources than most counties, but at the same time when you get on a cold, training pitch, they only have an hour and a half to train the same way we have an hour and a half of training.

“Other teams have to make it count to bridge that gap that's there at the moment," he added.

Looking back on his own performances he said: “I remember sitting here this time last year and people asking me what I thought our expectations for 2016 was.

“At that stage I remember saying, 'look, I'd love to win the Ulster title back.' We hadn't had it in five years, obviously.

Sean Cavanagh of Tyrone lifts The Anglo Celt Cup. Image: ©INPHO/Presseye/Andrew Paton

“When you're looking back now you're thinking we went unbeaten for 20-odd games and eventually won the Ulster title back off Donegal on a hot summer's day in Clones," he added. 

Despite talk of retirement, Cavanagh has committed to playing inter-county football for the 2017 season.