Mayo are well equipped to deal with the hype – Moran
Published 01/08/2014 | 02:30
One of Mayo's most experienced performers, Barry Moran, has insisted they have learned to cope with being tipped as serious All-Ireland contenders each year.
Moran, who made his debut in 2005, said they handle the pressure simply by not looking beyond the next opponent.
It is a view also shared by Aidan O'Shea, whose move to centre-forward helped Mayo create a dominant triangle with his older brother Seamie and Moran.
Moran crowned his return to the starting side with one of their three goals as they won their fourth Connacht title in a row.
But the real goal, of course, is finally bridging that gap to their last Sam Maguire success in 1951 and the Castlebar clubman knows they are close, having reached the last two All-Ireland finals.
"Last year we just lost out in an All-Ireland final by a point, it's the smallest of margins and we're looking to make up those margins this year and push on. But, at the same time, we are not looking past the next game," he said.
O'Shea, like Moran, now has five Connacht senior crowns, but his only success at national level was a Sigerson Cup medal with DCU last year.
He knows they have become a marked team and admitted they were lucky to get past Roscommon in the Connacht semi-final this year.
"We looked dead and buried with 10 minutes to go. You don't win four-in-a-rows easily though."
They were far too good for Galway in the Connacht final but it is only now that they are starting to take notice of what is happening in other provinces and who they might face.
Mayo only found out last weekend that they would be playing Cork this Sunday and O'Shea, like many of his colleagues, has admitted that he has actually found little value in tracking teams in the other provinces.
Mayo team to face Cork: Hennelly; Barrett, Cafferkey, Higgins; Keegan, Boyle, Vaughan; Moran, O'Shea; McLoughlin, O'Shea, Doherty; O'Connor, Moran, Dillon