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Stephen Rochford: 'We are still in the competition'

Mayo manager Stephen Rochford.

Mayo manager Stephen Rochford.

By Cian O'Connell

Moments after an absorbing match Mayo manager Stephen Rochford was still trying to make sense of it all.

A thrilling tussle went the distance and Rochford was initially asked about shaking up Mayo's tactical approach with Aidan O'Shea tasked with marking Kieran Donaghy.

"It is a bit early to be sort of too clinical in the analysis of it," Rochford remarked.  "We need to go back on the video and just sort of see what benefits we got out of it, what worked well and what needs to improve.

"But look we're halfway through, we haven't lost anything from it, we haven't gained anything from it."

Much debate and deliberation surrounded where O'Shea was stationed. "Well Aidan has played full-back for us in a couple of instances," Rochford stated. "Earlier this year he played full-back for a while against Donegal, Michael Murphy.

"Last year he played full back against Kildare on Kevin Feely. He's one of our best tacklers.

"Obviously his physical presence versus the physical and aerial threat that Kerry might bring in that area. We will look back on it and we will see if things worked from it or did we lose something from it."

Rochford isn't too concerned about fatigue being a factor as Mayo's 2017 Championship adventure continues with a replay next Saturday. "I'm sure at some stage I'll say yes to that question, but it's not going to be this week," Rochford replied.

"I thought we were doing the running there at the end. These guys I've said this before, these guys are in great physical shape. We probably trained once this week and our recovery started 15 minutes ago."

Ultimately Rochford is satisfied to be still in the hunt for Sam Maguire. "We're still in the competition," Rochford stated.

"Probably we would have felt that we had good momentum at one or two stages in the game. Obviously conceded goals that we'd be a bit disappointed with. We'll need to review them and see what was the source of them. We've been down this track a couple of times. Six day turnaround isn't the biggest deal to us. We will be back for next week."