"The great thing about the league is that you can get and take lessons from the league and it’s not as disappointing as the championship as you haven’t three or four months to think about it and go over it. We’ve a game in three of four weeks to rectify it, which is great,” said Donal Vaughan on Monday evening this week, as he reflected on the previous day’s loss to Tyrone. Vaughan was speaking at the launch of the Sports Injuries and Sports Medicine Clinics (SISM Clinic ), seminar on “How to improve your teams’ speed, performance and reduce injuries” which will take place on Thursday February 19 in the SISM Clinic in Moneen Industrial Estate in Castlebar at 7.30pm. Guest speakers on the night will include Vaughan, former Mayo manager James Horan, and broadcaster Timmy McCarthy.
While the Mayo midfielder recognised that Tyrone’s game plan was something they failed to get to grips with he said he was more disappointed with his own team’s execution of certain aspects of the game. “Looking back at the game, it was a frustrating game for us and by frustration, not frustration with Tyrone, but with ourselves. We executed our skills quite poorly. We created chances, we’d 15 wides, I’m not too sure on stats how many chances we created, but I do know we created enough chances to win the game. We just didn’t take them, we’d a few misses, you could say was it because of Tyrone’s pressure or was it our mistakes? It was probably a little bit of both. But I think more so on the side of we didn’t execute our skills properly like dropping balls into the keeper’s hands, hitting handy wides, hand passes going behind fellas instead of [in front of them] which gave defenders an extra chance. We’d be disappointed with that, we’ve certain standards and we take the field every day and we didn’t hit them.”
Vaughan did not put the defeat down to a lack of work-rate from any of the players, saying: “From a work-rate point of view, lads worked hard and we chased and whatever. You play northern teams and they have a certain style of football and that’s part of the game. I’d be more frustrated with the way we played.” As for the team’s conditioning, while he acknowledged they are not at full tilt yet, it was not a reason for the loss, saying: “Our year is geared for championship and to be peaking for championship, but we still go out to win league games.”
As for what to do when facing a blanket defence it is all about making sure that you take the right option on the ball, something that Mayo failed to do on Sunday, but it is something they do work on in training. The Ballinrobe clubman said: “We have gone through it in training, we’ve played the likes of Donegal before, and ultra defensive teams, and put up big scores against them. You’re basically trying to move the ball quickly and counter attack quickly, changing the point of attack and offering yourself as a support runner if you can get the ball inside, trying to do the right thing with the ball, and then when a shot presents itself you can’t be afraid to take the shot and the right fella in the right position should be able to take the shot. If you get into a scenario where you’re afraid to take the shot, you end up having to take a few long range shots more than normal.”
As for the different approaches and styles of football, Vaughan said he enjoys facing them and has his own views on what type of style a team should play. ““I enjoy a challenge, when you win a game like that, there’s a bit of satisfaction in it, different styles for me means a good manager will pick a style of football that suits his team, not a style of football that he likes playing. If you can match both, a good style of football that suits your team then you’re on to a winner. Like in 2013, ourselves and Dublin with an attacking style, that worked,” he explained.
As for the disappointment of the defeat there was still plenty to take from the game, even if the two points were gone. He said: “Your target would be to have four points, but as I said, you often learn a lot more in defeat than victory, the lesson could mean a lot more than two points.”