Fatigue not an issue believes Rochford

GAA: All Ireland SFC quarter final

Facing the old boss: Stephen Rochford shakes hands with his old u21 manager Kevin McStay at the end of last weekend's drawn game. Photo: Sportsfile.

Facing the old boss: Stephen Rochford shakes hands with his old u21 manager Kevin McStay at the end of last weekend's drawn game. Photo: Sportsfile.

Not long after the full time whistle had gone last Sunday, Stephen Rochford walked in to meet the press and have them pick over what had just happened on the field. With that being Mayo's sixth game of this championship summer the question of "fatigue" being an issue for his players was to the fore, but that is something that Rochford believes didn't play any part in the outcome of the game, saying: "We had three shots to win that game. So I don’t think so."

Mayo bounced back from a terrible start and Rochford was happy with how his charges reacted to the challenge put in front of his team after 11 minutes. "Look, it was probably nip and tuck throughout the course of the 70 minutes. We got off to a poor start, conceded a very soft goal and found ourselves seven points down. I thought we really took the game to Roscommon. We went on to score 1-6 in the next period and restricted them to a point from a free for the remainder of the first half."

Most expected Mayo to push on after half time when they went in leading by two points but it didn't happen. "I thought we really controlled the game. We seemed to lose our way then just after half time, conceded two points in the first five minutes and we just struggled to get our runners coming on to the ball across their 65, 45 yard lines," he said. "We didn’t close out the game in the manner we would have liked."

Looking forward to this Monday's replay Rochford said, "Look, we find ourselves going into a replay having played really for only 35 minutes. We were still driving on into that six minutes of injury time. The guys are in good condition and they’ll be in good condition to go again next week.

"The reality is you’re coming up against a good team as well. There are no poor teams in the championship when you get to the end of July and August. The benefit for us is that after we conceded the 2-2 we looked really solid defensively. We just didn’t click in the manner we were opening up and that’s credit to Roscommon.

"We’ll know more after the game next week if there’s a rhythm there or not. I know the boys will be buzzing to go, they're a bit tired there now but that's the reality of putting in a really long slog for over 80 minutes."

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