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Kevin McStay - 'The best Mayo team I ever saw and it's not over for them yet'

The Roscommon boss is backing his native county to respond.

Galway saw off Mayo by 1-12 to 0-12 in Castlebar last Saturday.
Galway saw off Mayo by 1-12 to 0-12 in Castlebar last Saturday.
Image: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

KEVIN MCSTAY HAS described the current Mayo side as the best from the county that he has witnessed and has tipped them to recover from last weekend’s shock Connacht semi-final loss to Galway.

Former Mayo player McStay was overlooked for the position of senior manager in his native county at the end of the 2014 season.

He was appointed as Roscommon manager last winter and has steered them to a Connacht decider on 10 July, where they will face a Galway team that brought Mayo’s six-in-a-row bid to a halt.

Despite Mayo’s surprise defeat, McStay believes they will emerge through the backdoor to contend in the All-Ireland series once more.

“They were fantastic (Connacht) champions, the best Mayo team I ever saw and by some distance.

“And it’s not over for them yet if they can regroup. But that’s not my business now, my business is winning a Connacht championship with a county that I’ve been very privileged to manage.

Kevin McStay Roscommon football boss Kevin McStay Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

“Records that last 100 years are very hard to beat. That’s why they’re long standing records. Number six, same for the five in a row in Kerry and the Kilkenny hurlers. These are savagely hard records to beat.

“It’s just the pressure, the expectation, then they (Mayo) got a run of bad injuries. There comes a day in every player when he say he has enough of this.

“I don’t know has that come for Mayo, I still expect to see them in Croke Park this year. But certainly Saturday night, the positive body language was all with Galway, no doubt.”

Observing last Saturday’s game in Castlebar, McStay felt that Galway’s tempo was superior.

Liam Silke and David Wynne celebrate after the final whistle Galway's Liam Silke and David Wynne celebrate after the final whistle in Castlebar Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

“I suppose like everybody, (I thought it was) a surprise but definitely not a shock. Galway were still well in the race (in the second-half), they were fighting hard for every ball.

“They had their tempo spot on and Mayo’s tempo wasn’t spot on. But the half-back line had powered them into a lead that I thought slightly flattered them now.

“The break they needed was the bad kickout. Then when they got that, then Mayo were put to the test and they couldn’t find the energy to react to it.

“It is a slight surprise but I’ve a shocking record against Galway. They’re a very formidable team and no Mayo man should ever take them for granted. Fair play to Kevin (Walsh) and his team, they put in a massive effort.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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