Horan happy with 70 minute performance

National Football League

Back on the winning way: James Horan was pleased to see his side preform for the full 70 minutes on Saturday night. Photo:Sportsfile

Back on the winning way: James Horan was pleased to see his side preform for the full 70 minutes on Saturday night. Photo:Sportsfile

It's been a tough couple of weeks for James Horan. Three defeats on the bounce, two of those when Mayo were leading at half time and had a man advantage, had the annual questioning of the direction that Mayo football was going in; kick in a earlier than normal this year. But a 12 point win over the All Ireland champions in front of a healthy crowd on a glorious evening has washed all those doubts away. Right? Well it's not exactly that simple is it. Mayo were good on Saturday night and at some points very good. But there is always a caveat, while Mayo were good, Dublin were poor and looked disinterested at times and after the game while James Horan knew his side had done well, he was also conscious of the fact that Dublin weren't fully at the races. “It was a good display, we played well today. We did a lot of good stuff and we might have caught the Dubs a bit cold today so we took advantage of it and played our game and played well. So we're delighted with the performance.” Horan went on to say that he didn't know why Dublin were a bit off the boil, but it wasn't his concern “It could have been the travel down whatever I don't know. But we had the intensity to win the game. We've seen Dublin do it in the past, they might not have played as well today as they could, but that's not for me to worry about, we did our stuff.”

The mood going into Saturday nights game would have been much different if Mayo had managed to close out the previous weeks game against Cork, but they got caught short in the run in. Getting that full 70 minute performance is something that Horan was pleased to have seen. “In various games particularly in Laois and up in Armagh we had spells and very good periods. But we didn't keep it together for 70 minutes, today we did and we drove on. We definitely learned from last week a little bit, as we've learned from every week that we've played. Delighted with tonight and are looking forward now to training Tuesday night and what's ahead.”

Aidan O'Shea returned to the fold following suspension and was the stand out performer in the middle of the park as part of a new look midfield pairing alongside u21 captain, Danny Geraghty and Horan was very pleased with their performance. “Every time he's (Aidan O'Shea ) played for us this year he has been excellent and the same again today. Danny Geraghty did very well today in the middle also, it was very competitive and we won ball. To win big games against big teams you need to win the midfield battle and we did that today.” Another two of the more inexperienced players who got plaudits from both the manager and the public were Kevin Keane and Shane McHale who stood up to the challenge confidently on Saturday. “Shane McHale and Kevin Keane have played well every time they have put on a jersey for us this year, I had great confidence in putting them on there and they showed what they can do” said Horan

Mayo put pressure on the Dublin kick out especially in the first half and it led to a couple of scores for Mayo, this was something that had been planned out during the week Horan explained, “The first half we were keen to put pressure on and do as well as we could and limit their options, because if Dublin are coming out from the back, they are the best team in the country and we limited that quite well today.”


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