Wednesday 17 January 2018

Connelly frustrated by six-day preparation

Joint Mayo manager Noel Connelly
Joint Mayo manager Noel Connelly

John Fallon

Mayo joint manager Noel Connelly is frustrated that his side will only have six days to prepare for their All-Ireland quarter-final opponents.

The Connacht champions could face Galway, Donegal or Tyrone in the final eight but that won't be decided until Saturday evening.

The All-Ireland Round 4B qualifiers between Galway and Donegal and Tyrone and Sligo take place in Croke Park tomorrow.

Mayo are due out at the same venue the following Saturday and they cannot face Sligo, who they hammered 6-25 to 2-11 in the Connacht final.

That match was on July 19 and Connelly believes the final round of the qualifiers should have been settled before this.

"Ideally this weekend gone should have been the last qualifier game. We would be disappointed that we wouldn't know maybe two weeks before the game who we would be playing.

"But it is the same for whatever team is to come through. We have got a week to focus on whatever team is there.

"All we can do at the moment is train as best we can and focus for all three scenarios to come up and then come Sunday we can focus on one," he said.

Tyrone and Donegal may be favourites to advance from this weekend's fixtures, but Connelly believes anything can happen at this stage.

"Cork and Kildare. . . nobody would have seen that result coming so it is very difficult to say that you could pick out two," he said.

"I don't have a preference - two teams would be a different style than two others, two will be defensive and two would be more orthodox football.

"Any of the three teams, Tyrone, Donegal or Galway. . . whichever one of them comes through it is going to be a tough assignment. We are under no illusions on that," added Connelly.

Irish Independent

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