Higgins demands improvement from Mayo
Published 12/07/2016 | 02:30
Mayo star Keith Higgins has warned that his side cannot afford to put in another first-half display like they did against Fermanagh as they progress in the qualifiers.
In what was their first game in the back door since their ill-fated 2010 trip to Longford, the Connacht men were six points down at half-time in Sunday's clash with the Erne men after playing against a stiff breeze. And Higgins was far from happy with some aspects of their play as they recovered to run out five-point winners.
"In the first half we had some very simple turnovers and they punished us and we weren't happy with that," Higgins said. "At half-time there was nothing dramatic (said), we knew we had to keep plugging away and try to chip away at the scoreboard and I think we did that. After ten minutes I think we were always going to kick on.
"There were bad decisions and (we were) giving away simple passes. I gave one to Stephen Coen and there was one for the goal and simple things like that that created the chances for them. So we knew in the second half we had to keep things simple and make the ball stick.
"I don't know if it is a confidence-builder," he said of their come-from-behind win. "Maybe deep down it will give us confidence but the first half was riddled with errors, that was the main thing. And if we can cut them out we will be in with a shout again the next day."
The win was shrouded in controversy after Aidan O'Shea was awarded a soft penalty late on that Cillian O'Connor converted but Higgins insists there was contact.
"I seen (a replay) there and I think he had the two arms around him. How much contact I don't know but I thought he had his two arms around his waist. But there were a couple of other ones he (referee Joe McQuillan) didn't give us so on the balance of things I think we deserved it."
The 'next day' sees them welcome Kildare to Elverys MacHale Park on Saturday evening and Higgins is happy to keep their season alive in the back door after the disappointment of the defeat to Galway.
"It's a championship win so its always important. We weren't happy with what happened two weeks ago for obvious reason but this is the route we have to go now and every game is a knockout game. That's the only choice we have."