Having the championship throw-in against New York in just over a fortnight will have been a welcome relief to James Horan and his squad this week as they picked over the bones of last Sunday’s national league semi-final defeat at the hands of Derry in Croke Park.
The game against Derry was Horan’s 63rd in charge of Mayo since taking over in 2011 and the Ballintubber man’s record in both league and championship is one that most other managers and their counties supporters would be chomping at the bit to have. While last Sunday’s performance has many people questioning what will happen this summer when the championship proper gets going, an All Ireland semi-final and two All Ireland final appearances along with two league semi-finals and one league final appearance is no bad record.
Horan has crafted a side that has seen the emergence of the likes of Lee Keegan, Cillian O’Connor and Colm Boyle into household names across the country not just Mayo. And after last weekend’s defeat he didn’t lay the blame elsewhere saying that there would be a review of how they were doing things up to now. After the game he said, “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.”
The way his side fell away in the closing stages of the game against a 14-man Derry team is something that will get serious analysis Horan said, “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”
Speaking this week at the launch of the All Ireland minor championship, Aidan O’Shea echoed his managers feelings when speaking to The Irish Times saying, “it was probably the flattest performance we’ve had for a long time. Very lethargic. I think you don’t have to be one of the players to notice that.
Even when we were on top, we weren’t very convincing on the ball, which is slightly worrying. I think James [Horan] said after the game, ‘The longer the game would have gone on, the more Derry would have won’ and I think he was right. It’s hard to pinpoint what it was. Something we’ll have to look at. But yeah, just very, very flat.”
Mayo don’t have much time to get the flatness worked out of their system with their date in the Bronx with the exiles, not that long away. While they will be expected to win the game comfortably, they will be looking to see their
performance levels increase dramatically in the US.
Cáirde Mhaigh Eo Fundraiser
The Cáirde Mhaigh Eo Golf Classic, which has been organised by the Mayo Golf Society in Dublin will take place in Westmanstown Golf Club, Dublin on Friday, April 25. Limited places on the time sheet are still available. Anyone interested in supporting the event should contact Sean McNamara (087 ) 9096300, Noel McLoughlin (087 ) 2508958, Willie McGee (087 ) 2865811 or Jim Murphy at (087 ) 6502690.