Thursday 22 February 2018

'I'm taking the next 12 hours off to chill out' - Relieved Stephen Rochford delighted with semi-final win

Paddy Durcan of Mayo with manager Stephen Rochford after being shown a red card
Paddy Durcan of Mayo with manager Stephen Rochford after being shown a red card

Mayo manager Stephen Rochford has said that he will not allow himself to begin thinking about next month's All-Ireland final until the conclusion of Sunday's other semi-final between Dublin and Tyrone.

Goals either side of half-time from Diarmuid O'Connor and Andy Moran ensured that Mayo would earn their way back to the All-Ireland final for the second consecutive year.

The Westerners will now await the winner of Dublin and Tyrone, but Rochford insists that he hasn't even started to think about next month's final as he enjoys his side's five-point win over Kerry.

"I'm going to take the next 12 hours off and sort of chill out a little bit," Rochford told RTE Sport when asked about what he'll do differently for next year's final in comparison to last year's defeat to Dublin.

"I'll watch tomorrow's game and start to prep from tomorrow evening. We didn't think anything further than today's game. Obviously we will have to be different but I think the Dublin opposition and the Tyrone opposition will bring different conundrums to us.

"I'm sure we'll face up to them and we'll see what we deliver in a couple of weeks."

Rochford also praised the performance of centre-half-forwad Aidan O'Shea, who performed much better defensively when tasked with covering former Footballer of the Year Kieran Donaghy.

Donaghy was held scoreless throughout the replay as Mayo threw multiple different defenders at him throughout the game, with Rochford commending O'Shea for his improvement this weekend.

"When you have two weeks to try something going into the first game, we maybe were a bit conservative because it was something we were testing," added Rochford.

"But again, we conceded those opportunities to maybe move that on a little bit, but again, Aidan is a smart footballer and he's able to read those situations. I thought he did really, really well today."

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