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Moran believes Mayo's return to basics can reap rewards

Mayo midfielder Barry Moran said they went back to basics after last year's All-Ireland final loss to Donegal and he believes the work they have done will get them past the All-Ireland champions on Sunday.

Moran (right) said they had no complaints about the outcome of last year's decider as Donegal were the better team on the day.

"We sat down and just looked at the All-Ireland final, looked at the season as a whole.

"There were a couple of areas where we felt we didn't perform well enough. On All-Ireland final day, our general skills let us down – our ball-handling and that.

However, he believes that the arrival of coach Donie Buckley has given them a big boost for this year's campaign.

"We've really gone back to basics. We've gone back to left and right-foot passing; the same with the handpassing – and Donie Buckley's come in.

"We've concentrated a lot on the tackling – that's the kind of thing we're looking to improve on and they're the kind of things that we think if we can nail them, we can push on until late in the summer.

"I suppose a lot of people looked at the start of last year's All-Ireland final and that's one thing, obviously, going in next weekend, that we'll be hoping won't be happening again.

"But I think we were slightly off for the that game. Let's call a spade a spade – Donegal were the better team.

"People can say we were good, we matched them for 60 minutes, but it takes 70 minutes to win an All-Ireland; it's gonna take 70 minutes of effort to beat Donegal.

"It's 70 minutes of complete, intense effort and from there, I think if we put in our performance and play as well as we can, we can beat anyone. So, we'd be confident from that point of view, but, at the same time, we know that we have to be 100pc. We can't go in a couple of per cent off or we'll be beaten."

Moran has had knee and ankle injury problems this year and now knows he needs to displace one of the O'Shea brothers to get his starting place back.

But he dismisses the notion that Mayo have not been tested this summer and feels that the big margins by which they defeated Galway, Roscommon and London were reflective of how much they have improved.

"You can only beat who goes out in front of you. We had three games to win in Connacht. At the start of the year, when that draw was made, it was said that that was going to be the hardest route for us to retain the Connacht title.

"We went and we retained it fairly impressively, so no, we're not worried about our own performance or anything like that, in the sense that we know, on our day, if we go out and we play well, put in the performance, we can beat anyone.

"We also have had a good few challenge games – we played Kildare, Monaghan and Cavan, not to mention the in-house games. So, I think that has us fairly prepped for next weekend," said the Castlebar clubman.