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Mayo boss: 'The amount of untruths that were published is just phenomenal'

The Mayo manager has dismissed any speculation of unrest in the backroom team.

Mayo manager James Horan.
Mayo manager James Horan.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

MAYO MANAGER JAMES Horan has responded to what he called “phenomenal untruths” which emerged after their All-Ireland final defeat to Tyrone.

Rumours of unrest within the Mayo backroom team have been reported recently, suggesting that there were disagreements between Horan and his selectors Ciarán McDonald and James Burke.

However, Horan has moved to dismiss that speculation and insists that his management team is united as they continue preparations for 2022.

“No is the answer,” Horan told the Tommy Marren Show on Midwest Radio when asked if there was any dispute on All-Ireland final day, in what is his first major interview since that loss to Tyrone.

“I didn’t realise this was happening but a couple of my mates highlighted it to me. I find it incredible, the amount of untruths that were published on this is just phenomenal.

“Ciarán Mc, James Burke and myself have been working over the last few weeks to plot and plan for the new season and that’s really where we need to be. So, the stories generated is actually incredible and I think when some people take a breath and reflect on some of the stuff that’s been written, they might wonder themselves.

“Ciarán Mc has been in my house I don’t know how many times and we talk maybe four or five times a day, plotting and planning about what we can do.

“I know there was a clip sent around of James Burke saying something to me. There were a couple of hundred people behind us so it was a bit noisy and I asked James to repeat what he said. That was taken out of context then.

“To me, that’s bonkers. That was published and people ran with it on absolutely nothing. It’s a complete untruth, I can’t control that.”

The Mayo team was heavily criticised in the wake of their latest defeat in an All-Ireland final. After dethroning the reigning champions Dublin in the semi-final, there were encouraging signs that 2021 would be the year that the Connacht outfit would end their long wait to lift the Sam Maguire.

But a lacklustre display in the decider saw them fall short once again, with much of the online criticism becoming quite personal in the aftermath.

Horan stressed that Mayo has “phenomenal supporters” who only want to see their county thrive, but also noted that his side has been a victim of abuse on social media too.

“I use Twitter to follow games so stuff comes up on your phone and I was aware of the general theme out there. Over the last couple of months, the amount of professional athletes… we’ve had people pulling out of Grand Slams and the impact that social media can have on people.

“Unfortunately, it’s part of life. It’s not nice for the person that gets it, it’s not nice for their families, it’s not nice for their partner or their friends. Thankfully, I can think logically about why people are saying that.

“It’s unfortunate, it’s disappointing and the personal nature of some of it, is just not right. It’s someone somewhere saying something, so when you put it into context, you try and shelve it that way.

“Your gut reaction would be to say, ‘If I meet that fella, I’d love to tell him what actually happened.’ But you just need to move on.”

Horan was also asked about his position on players participating in commercial activities. Aidan O’Shea, who was targeted for criticism after his performances in both the semi-final and final, often lends his services for commercial events.

The Mayo boss explained how they try to work with players who engage in commercial work, and also highlighted the amount of work he does for free in his local community.

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“Aidan O’Shea and some of these guys are amazing at what they do in their local communities. I’ve never seen it highlighted [about] the amazing work he does when asked free gratis for multiple schools for no commercial benefits.

“The timing of the article [which was published before the All-Ireland final] etc wasn’t good but when there is a defeat everyone blames various stuff.

“We try and work with the players to try and keep things in balance, and overall, I think we get very close.”

Listen to the full interview here


Source: Midwest Radio/SoundCloud

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