Tuesday 23 January 2018

'Change is needed' - Former Mayo boss Horan has stern words for his old team after Croke Park 'wake-up call'

4 March 2017; The Mayo team stand for the national anthem ahead of the Allianz Football League Division 1 Round 4 match between Dublin and Mayo at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
4 March 2017; The Mayo team stand for the national anthem ahead of the Allianz Football League Division 1 Round 4 match between Dublin and Mayo at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Ex-Mayo manager James Horan has urged current boss Stephen Rochford to implement changes after last year's All-Ireland runners up were blown away by Dublin on Saturday night.

Many observers were tipping Mayo to end Dublin's two year unbeaten streak in league and championship but Jim Gavin's side delivered their best performance since last season as they eased to a 12-point victory at Croke Park.

While neither side picked a full strength team, Mayo had more regulars involved on Saturday night, and Horan thinks that after taking such a comprehensive beating, there could be changes made to the side - either tactical or in terms of personnel.

"Dublin's pasting of Mayo on Saturday evening wasn't one that anyone saw coming," Horan said to begin his column in this morning's Irish Daily Star.

"This was a wake-up call. And Mayo have to react to it. Everything goes under the microscope after a defeat like this. Whether it's changing personnel, the tactical approach or whatever, change is needed.

"You can't brush off a defeat like that and pretend it didn't happen."

Horan also expressed concerns about the number of goal chances Mayo have given up across their four league games. While they have only conceded three goals, it could well have been far more were it not for the heroics of 2016 All Star David Clarke, who has made a string of impressive saves from close-range shots.

Mayo have won two of their four league fixtures, and next welcome relegation candidates Cavan to MacHale Park on March 19th.

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