Thursday 19 October 2017

Horan refuses to be drawn on Mortimer's family riposte

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Mayo manager James Horan has said a statement from Conor Mortimer's family on his reasons for quitting the squad last week "doesn't warrant a response".

Horan admitted it had been a "tough week" after the player withdrew from the squad when he failed to regain his place on the team.

The statement by Conor's father, Frank, on behalf of the family, was given to Midwest radio on Thursday night and accused the Mayo management of "not wanting" the player.

They claimed that Mayo's management, according to Conor's testimony, never contacted the player during his rehabilitation from a cruciate ligament operation.

It highlighted how Mortimer had been left off the team for the Allianz League game against Kerry in April after he had broken Mayo's all-time scoring record in the previous game against Dublin, scoring eight points on the night.

Facts

"It is not worth responding to," said Horan. "There's a lot of people in Mayo who know what the actual facts are and that statement is just ... it doesn't warrant a response."

Horan dismissed the idea that Mortimer's departure in the week of a Connacht final had created added pressure.

"I don't agree it (pressure) was on the players. I had a tough week but I've never seen the players as happy. We had excellent training sessions on Tuesday and Friday and there was great banter coming up today.

"We had a competitive game and we were a bit nervous -- naturally. We made a few mistakes that compounded how nervous we were, but I don't think the Conor Mortimer thing affected the players whatsoever.

"We are looking forward to the next three weeks. We have an amount of work to do but we showed we have a lot of strong characters. There were a few questions asked of players on the team and they stood up.

"They ground it out. It's the first competitive match we have had in a while and we came through it so I am delighted."

Irish Independent

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