Mayo supporters left Croke Park on Sunday evening with plenty to ponder for the summer ahead. While losing to a Derry team who have impressed in this years league campaign is no great failure on the face of things, the manner of the defeat is what has supporters and the Mayo manager alike looking for answers. “We were three points up and we had a good goal chance, we made a hames of it. We didn't take it and the longer that game would have went on Derry would have won by more, I'd say. They were starting to run through us and away from us. A very disappointing performance from us and one we'll have to analyse very seriously, the whole lot of us as a group. We weren't good today, right through. So we need to have a look at that” proffered Horan in response to being asked should his side have put away a 14 man Derry team.
When asked about what in particular was wrong with his teams performance, Horan said that “our tackling was poor, the second goal we gave away today, at any age group, in any game you'd be very disappointed with it. For a goal to go in like that, there's more wrong than just someone missing a tackle. So we need to look at a few things and see where we are.”
The concession of goals has been a major talking point in Mayo's league run this year and Horan acknowledged that it's something that has been a major hinderance so far this term. “It's a big problem for us, we're getting a bit of momentum in games and [then] we're conceding soft goals and our confidence takes a bit of a hit and we're losing games like that today. Our work rate and preparation, must have been a little bit off today. We were very flat today, we need to have a serious review.”
The flatness to Mayo's performance had nothing to do with any particularly heavy training they are doing at the minute Horan explained. “We're training heavy, but we looked flat today and it's not training that would have players that flat. Maybe our preparation was off, so I need to look at what we're doing and I'm doing. We need to correct this and quickly, but we will.”
As for not being able to take advantage of having an extra man for a long period of the game once again in Croke Park, Horan recognised that his team didn't utilise the numeric advantage and said it would be looked at during the overall scope of the review of the game. “When we didn't need it we had three or four guys behind the ball and they're not influencing play, we tightened that up a bit. But just our work rate was a little bit off and if our work rate was a little bit off, our preparation was a little bit off and that's where I've to take some responsibility, so I'll be looking through that. Work rate in a game is made up of a thousand little things before a game, so we'll have to trawl through that and make sure we can get back to what we can do.”
In better news for Mayo ahead of the summer, Horan confirmed that Cillian O'Connor is expected back in training on Thursday night, while Alan Dillon returned to club action on Saturday night with Ballintubber.