Mayo manager Stephen Rochford admitted it was hard to focus on any positives in the immediate aftermath of Saturday night’s Allianz League defeat against Kerry.
After succumbing to a three point defeat, despite having two extra men for the final 20 minutes, the Mayo dressing room was understandably a sombre place to be.
Speaking after the game Rochford admitted “Look, I think when you throw up a result like that you tend to focus solely on the negatives as they are the only ones that spring to mind at the moment but we’ll review the tape and review whatever positives I’m sure are there. I think Eoin O’Donoghue acquitted himself reasonably well again today, for a guy starting just his second competitive game but apart from that not a lot springs to mind.”
Rochford was understandably not satisfied with the game, “We had three relatively scoreable frees in the final period that we didn’t take and a goal chance cleared off the line. If we had converted those chances alone I think we would have been able to ask further questions of the Kerry defence but that’s the thing about this time of year, if you don’t show a ruthless streak then you will pay the ultimate price.”
Those missed frees proved costly to Mayo and with three separate players taking frees in the second-half Rochford saw no major concern about that; “The guys that took those frees, and in some cases missed them, are all big characters who will bounce back. There is no major concern about having to change mid-game.”
Referee Derek O’Mahony didn’t endear himself to either set of supporters on the night but Rochford was not about to begin criticising the Tipp native in the aftermath, “It was a physical game, I think when players are going at that hammer and tongs and with those kind of underfoot conditions it wasn’t easy for him and it probably did feed in to the drama of the game. Any of these games are going to be physical and in all of those you are probably asking more questions of the referee. It’s not an easy position to be in.”
On that physicality, the Crossmolina native didn’t believe Kerry were any more physical than Mayo in the game; “I didn’t think they had a physical edge on us, I thought we just didn’t drive on when we got ourselves in a good position at the start of the second half. Why that is, we will sit back and try review the tape and see why that was.”
Ballina Stephenite’s two starters, Evan Regan and Ger Cafferkey were both forced to leave the field of play but Rochford had no immediate update on their timeline for return; “We’re not sure what the diagnosis is with regards Evan, he took a hefty bang so we’ll let the medical team keep an eye on him and get an update on Sunday morning. Ger was just a tightness in the hamstring so we were taking no chances.”
Mayo travel to Galway next Sunday in the third round of the league with two points from four available, but the Mayo boss doesn’t see any extra pressure being put on his side following the Kerry result; “All the games in division one are tough games, they are all big results aswell because in such a tight and competitive division you could be scrambling for points going in to the last two games and it’s not a position we want to put ourselves in. We will go about preparing well again this week and looking to improve on the performance.”