Friday 24 November 2017

Horan admits charges have 'a lot of stuff to work on' in quest for Sam

James Horan admitted that their level of performance wasn't what they had hoped for
James Horan admitted that their level of performance wasn't what they had hoped for
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

Mission accomplished – move on. James Horan enjoyed the fruits of the victory if not perhaps the manner of its achievement as Mayo secured a Connacht treble for the first time in 63 years.

Mayo are now heading for deeper waters, populated by bigger sharks than they encountered in a Connacht championship where they beat Galway, Roscommon and London by a combined total of 42 points.

Horan knows that while nobody doubts his squad's All-Ireland credentials, there's an inference that they had to beat very little to maintain their dominance in Connacht.

He referenced Galway's win over Armagh on Saturday and Roscommon's close call against Tyrone in a previous qualifier round, implying that two of Mayo's earlier victims – and by extension the standard in Connacht – may be better than is generally acknowledged.

Mayo's status in an All-Ireland context will be put to the test next month, but, for now, Horan is pleased to have secured the Connacht treble.

"We'll take that. It was the main objective of the day," he said.

However, there were aspects of the performance which frustrated him, although some of the inefficiency may have been caused by a sense among the players that they were always certain to win. Such certainty can bring uncharacteristic errors.

Fighting

"Our level of performance wasn't what we would have hoped. We have a lot of stuff we need to look at," said Horan.

"It's human nature to drop to the most comfortable level. That's what we were fighting against. Some of our decision-making and passing was not good – shot selection too.

"Things were a fraction off and that can make all the difference."

London manager Paul Coggins knew how difficult it would be against a side of Mayo's calibre, but was happy with the endeavour of his players.

While beaten provincial finalists have a poor record in the All-Ireland qualifiers off a six-day turnaround, Coggins believes that his side will recover quickly.

"I don't think it will be that difficult (to motivate them). We have come a long way and we have got another match under our belts. We can take a lot of positives. We competed very well against Mayo for a lot of the game," he said.

Mayo have plenty to work on, but they know the quality is there to deliver when the pressure is on.

"We'll build on this game and be ready in two weeks' time," said Horan. His first target for the season has been reached – now the show moves to Croke Park.

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