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'We overdo highs and overdo lows': Mayo crisis talk an over-reaction, says Horan

Connacht champions out to improve on their semi-final showing and seal a fourth straight provincial crown.

Horan: positives to be found in 'honest' performance against Roscommon.
Horan: positives to be found in 'honest' performance against Roscommon.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

JAMES HORAN HAS brushed off talk of the latest ‘mini-crisis’ in Mayo football.

The Connacht champions bid for their fourth straight provincial title when they take on old rivals Galway in Castlebar on Sunday (2pm).

Their campaign was nearly derailed last month when they were pushed to the wire by a spirited Roscommon before grinding out a one-point win.

That underwhelming performance came in for some criticism but that is not unusual for Mayo, Horan said.

“I am repeating myself for four years but we overdo highs and overdo lows.

“Since I have been involved we have played three games in Hyde Park. Four points is the highest [lead] we have had at half-time and we were behind in the other two games — we were five points down and three points down in the other two games.

“I was not a bit surprised at all that we were where we were against Roscommon at half-time. We knew it was going to be tough. Whatever it is about the place, it is a tough place to be.

“So for me the way we responded when we went three points down, no one associated with the team panicked, we just kept playing, and the last four or five scores we got were excellent scores to win the game.

You can look at it a number of different ways but from our point of view, we played honest, we kept going and eventually we got there.

Mayo beat Galway by 17 points in the Connacht quarter-finals last year but Horan has seen a very different approach from the Tribesmen in their wins against London and Sligo this season.

“They are definitely setting up a little bit different. They are setting up two inside, playing three around the middle, and they are a little more solid than they were defensively.

They have probably learned a lot over the last couple of games so they are set-up solidly. Their half-back does not attack as much as they used to, and the three around the middle, that in itself makes them a more solid outfit.

Keelan Cawley and James Kilcullen with Fiontan O'Curraoin Galway's Fiontan O'Curraoin goes up against Keelan Cawley and James Kilcullen of Sligo. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

He added: “If you go down to Sligo and win by five points any year at any stage of the Championship it is good, so I am sure that they took a lot from that.

“They had a lot of new-ish guys who did very well for them and I am sure after the big score they put up against London and the very solid performance they put in at Markievicz Park, they will be very confident and happy with where they are.”

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