Mayo are not going to panic - Moran
NO panic. No baggage. That was the message from Barry Moran as he looked back on Sunday's heart-pounding victory over Dublin and forward to their All-Ireland showdown with Donegal, insisting that Croke Park holds no fears for this generation of Mayo footballers.
"It doesn't worry us coming to Croke Park," the big midfielder insisted. "We like coming to Croke Park. It's a big pitch and it suits us, the way we're playing. We're playing some of our best football up here, to be quite honest."
This, he believes, was reflected by their ability (eventually) to withstand Dublin's fourth-quarter charge as the injuries mounted, having already started without their attacking talisman Andy Moran.
"Everyone was saying, 'Oh, Mayo aren't going to win any more'," said Moran, in reference to last month's season-ending injury to his namesake and captain.
"But Mickey Conroy, Enda Varley, Cillian O'Connor, I thought they were absolutely brilliant. They stepped up to the mark and showed what good footballers they are.
"We didn't panic. People might say, 'oh, previous Mayo teams were this, that or the other.' I don't know about previous Mayo teams, I can only tell you about this one.
"But no, we're not going to panic. We were in the same situation against Sligo in the Connacht final. We went in two points down at half-time and weren't playing well, but we got the result."
Looking ahead to the final, where Mayo will hope to buck a trend of losing five senior All-Irelands in the last 23 years, Moran declared: "You have a panel of 32 training. How many of them have lost an All-Ireland final? Not too many of them.
"I'm sure there's a couple of them alright that have, but the majority of them haven't lost All-Ireland finals. We're not going to look at that."
He reasons that Donegal represent a far bigger obstacle than history. "People are saying they don't have the tradition or they mightn't have the tradition, but Donegal are the best team in the country if you're going by what people are saying about them and how they played last week (against Cork)," the Castlebar Mitchels man reflected.
"Jimmy McGuinness, he seems to have them flying. For us, in three weeks time we have to be on our 'A' game."