Horan satisfied with Mayo response
By Cian O'Connell
It has been a hectic recent schedule for Mayo, but manager James Horan was encouraged that his green and red team cleansed the Kerry defeat from the system quickly.
Following three All Ireland qualifier victories on the spin, Mayo suffered a disappointing loss to Kerry at Fitzgerald Stadium.
The response, though, was sufficient to eke out a win over Meath at Croke Park to set up a fascinating Elverys MacHale Park clash against Donegal on August 3.
Was there any lingering doubt following the Kerry setback? "No, genuinely, it was amazing," Horan reflected.
"It seems ages ago. Very quickly (we got over it), it was a long bus journey up after the game. That probably helped, with everyone on it. By the time we got off the bus we'd pretty much forgotten about it. It's a real skill to be able to do that but very quickly we moved on."
Satisfied with how Mayo finished against Meath, Horan acknowledged the rich contribution made by substitute Andy Moran in the second period. "We were delighted with the way it ended obviously," Horan remarked.
"The way we were playing, the mistakes we were making, the turnovers we were giving away, because it was nip and tuck for a long time, but we got a couple of breaks.
"Andy Moran, I thought when he came on was a huge outlet for us and we kept plugging away and eventually kicked on. With the points difference, very happy to get a penalty and a very good point after it."
Mistakes were made, but Mayo still found a way to prevail which was critical. "The amount of turnovers we gave away was shocking at times," Horan admitted. "We kept plugging and kept fighting, like we’re doing all year.
"I suppose our reward is a two week lead into a game so that will be good, that will put a lot of players back into contention. Just excited about now preparing for the next game, a home game in Castlebar, the boys will be looking forward to it very quickly."
The fact that Mayo have 13 days to prepare for the Donegal encounter is vital according to Horan. "I think it's hugely important," Horan states. "The last five or six weeks we've just had one session a week and it's really just maintenance.
"There's not a lot you can do, we were travelling and we were both ends of the country. It's good now to be able to plan the lead in to a game."