Saturday 29 April 2017

No defensive fears for Mayo

Noel Connelly: 'Every team now from provincial stage onwards is going to be defensive. Everybody is trying to protect their backline'
Noel Connelly: 'Every team now from provincial stage onwards is going to be defensive. Everybody is trying to protect their backline'

John Fallon

Mayo joint manager Noel Connelly says they have paid no heed to criticism of their defence by the likes of ex-Donegal boss Jim McGuinness and pundit Joe Brolly.

The duo were among a number of observers to raise question marks over Mayo's defence when Galway cut through for a couple of goals in the Connacht semi-final.

Mayo conceded just four goals when winning the last four successive Connacht titles, but Gary Sice and Danny Cummins found the net against them in the semi-final, which Mayo won 1-15 to 2-8.

"Every team now from provincial stage onwards is going to be defensive," said Connelly. "Everybody is trying to protect their backline.

"Donegal, they have a good full-back line but still try to get 12 players behind the ball. Do you resort to that tactic or maybe go half the way and then you have to design an offensive style as well.

"I would be lying if we said we are not looking at that to be more defensive but I wouldn't really buy into exactly what Joe Brolly and Jim McGuinness are saying.

"They do have a point - the evidence is there over the last number of years that it has been a position that we have been targeted in. We didn't curb it to the degree that we would like, hopefully we will be able to overcome that."

Irish Independent

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