O’Shea eyeing next victory after battle in the Hyde

GAA: National Football League

The conditions when Mayo ground out their win over Roscommon last Sunday were far removed from the firm sod and warm days of summer they are used to for playing their best football, but for Aidan O'Shea it was just about winning the game and getting things moving on the right track. Speaking after the contest the mud coated Breaffy man said: "I'd say it wasn't the greatest spectacle in the world, we were just slipping and sliding we didn't know where the ball was going to land when it was coming towards you, you never knew if you were going to slip or not. It was difficult, I'd say both teams were leaking towards the end. It was a tough, tough game."

Getting the win over a Roscommon side that has become the story of this year's league was a big one for Mayo, but O'Shea thinks that it's all the better for Connacht football that Roscommon have put their necks above the parapet and started to mix it with the big boys on a more regular basis. "Look [there has been] a lot of talk about Roscommon, they've been very, very, good during the league, but it's very good for Connacht football they've been doing well in the league. I've been saying it for the past couple of years they are a good side and now everybody knows that, and we've done a good job here today and put a performance in, but we've to go and get a result next week and make sure we stay up and that'll be a great end to the league for us."

On Sunday Mayo face into their last league game with a clash against an already relegated Down side where a win should keep them in the top division for next year and give them a boost heading into the championship which throws in on the last Sunday in May away to London in Ruislip. "To be honest, down at home now on Sunday, over the last few years we've been either fighting relegation or on the edge of getting into the play offs we're no strangers to it so we just need to make sure we get a good 70 minutes next week," O'Shea said.

While getting relegated and Mayo not playing division one football for the first time since 1997 is not something the team have been concerning themselves with it is at the back of their minds, he added "We didn't talk about it, but at the same time you don't want to be remembered as the team that got relegated for the first time in 20 odd years, so we didn't think about it, but individually we understood the importance of keeping our division one status. It wouldn't be the end of the world if we went down, but we've got to fight hard next week to try to put in a performance and stay in division one."

O'Shea was also happy to have one of Mayo's best back on the field for the first time this year last weekend, when Cillian O'Connor made an appearance off the bench down the home straight. "Cillian has been training with us the last while, either on the bike or out on the pitch doing a bit of running, we just need to make sure that he's right for the summer. He's obviously one of the best forwards in the country and I'm just delighted to see him back on the field."


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