Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership

Become A Member
Dublin: 8°C Wednesday 23 September 2020

Mayo boss Horan - 'We could’ve won by 10 to 12 points to be honest'

The Connacht county celebrated league final glory yesterday.

James Horan celebrates after Mayo's victory.
James Horan celebrates after Mayo's victory.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

A FIRST SUCCESS in 18 years in a league final is something to be cherished, all the more when Mayo have suffered so many days of hardship in national deciders in the interim. 

In the mind of manager James Horan yesterday’s breakthrough should have been achieved in more comfortable fashion.

Substitute Ciarán Treacy’s goal in injury-time wrapped up the victory over Kerry yet for Horan the game should have been closed off as a contest before that late juncture.

“I think that game today, if we were as effective as we should be, we could’ve won by 10 to 12 points to be honest.

“We just about got over the line. I’m sure a bit of nerves came into it but to win one is significant for that group, there’s no question about that. I think it’s big. It might be a springboard if we use it correctly.”

The importance of this success was clear in the joyous reaction of the Mayo players and supporters with the deliverance for their longest-serving operators something Horan savoured.

“There’s some guys out there who have given 15 years to try and win something significant. I’m absolutely delighted for them today.

“Tom Parsons jumped the fence there at the end, and Ger Caff and some of these guys who have soldiered for a long time. So it’s great and I suppose what’s refreshing for us as well is we used 35 or 36 different players in the league.

“Nine or ten new players who had never played before. So it was a huge panel effort. That makes it a little bit more special, that it wasn’t just a 15 or 16 – it was a big group.

“Fionn McDonagh’s 1-2 in his first game up in Tyrone probably propelled us and got off off to a great start that eventually got us here. They weren’t involved today. So, a lot of that kind of stuff which makes it a little bit more special.”

Andy Moran with his kids Charlotte and Ollie Andy Moran celebrates Mayo's win with his children Charlotte and Ollie. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

The first-half display was an area that Horan will be keen for his charges to brush up on.

“The goals we gave away were very slack. They were from two kick-outs – we didn’t press very well from the kick-outs, their midfield was very strong pace-wise, so they opened us up for those. We had four goal chances in the first half, I don’t think we went for any of them.

“There was three or four in a row where we just ran into their cover when a shot was on or an opportunity to recycle, we kept doing some daft things so that was a bit frustrating.

“But it was very calm at half-time. There was a bit of a breeze there and it does make a difference in how you play. At the start of the second half we got scores very quickly and we had four or five waves of attack where we had three or four players and we butchered them.

“To win it eventually in the end, it’s great for us but, yeah, lots to look at. There’s certain things we’re going after in how we play this year – just five or six fairly simple, basic things that we’ve gone after.

“We’re monitoring those very closely, how we do in each game this year. If we get those right we’re pretty happy , regardless of the result, and I genuinely mean that.

“We were good on some of those today, our work-rate and our effort, but our finishing and effective attacks if you like are a huge area for us to improve on.”

Subscribe to our new podcast, The42 Rugby Weekly, here:

About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel