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Revenge will not be factor for Mayo in trip to Derry, insists Higgins

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Sean Leo McGoldrick, Derry, in action against Keith Higgins, Mayo in last year's Allianz Football League Division 1 semi-final

Sean Leo McGoldrick, Derry, in action against Keith Higgins, Mayo in last year's Allianz Football League Division 1 semi-final

Sean Leo McGoldrick, Derry, in action against Keith Higgins, Mayo in last year's Allianz Football League Division 1 semi-final

REVENGE is a dish best served cold but atonement for last year's Allianz League semi-final defeat will not be on Mayo's menu when the teams meet at Celtic Park next Sunday.

That's the view of Mayo captain Keith Higgins who has no interest in looking back on their 2014 clash when 14-man Derry got the verdict by two points at Croke Park.

Higgins takes a totally pragmatic approach to the next fixture after two wins and one defeat put Mayo top of Division 1 on scoring difference.

He was asked whether the likely 'revenge' motive would be called on in relation to Derry but replied: "We won't be looking at it like that. I can tell you straight out that all we're looking at is another two points.

"We've gone up to Derry before and got beaten up there, so we know how tough a place it is to go.

"They drew with Tyrone on Saturday night. I didn't see much of that game, but the conditions would have played a big part. We know it's going to be a battle, but all that's on offer is two points," said Higgins.

Mayo go into the match relieved that they earned the points against Monaghan at home on Sunday, albeit against a side which was reduced to 13 men with 16 minutes left when Ryan Wylie was sent off after a clash with Mark Ronaldson.

Referee Rory Hickey had already dismissed Stephen Gollogly in the 28th minute for an off-the-ball incident, and Wylie's red card ensured a fractious, untidy closing period featuring a number of messy confrontations.

Experienced

Mayo could be happy with their result - 3-15 to 0-11 - but are too experienced to get carried away by that showing.

"They were down to 13 men for a lot of the game and that made it more difficult for them. From our point of view, it's a win, we put up a decent score and there's still lots of work to do," Higgins added.

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"We said after the Tyrone game a lot of the mistakes we made were simple mistakes. We just needed to rectify that and get back to basics, and get the simple things right.

"Everything else leads on from that. The first half was nip and tuck for a lot of it. The first sending-off had a big bearing on the game."

Referee Rory Hickey was kept busy flashing the cards - black for Mayo's Seamus O'Shea and Dermot Malone; red for Monaghan's Gallogly and Ryan Wylie; and six yellow cards, three for each team.

"You have games like that where it's stop-start. Conditions were never going to lead to a fast, free-flowing football. You have to adapt when you're out there," Higgins said.

"On a day like that when the pitch is very dead, the ball's not bouncing up, it's slowing it down and it's getting scrappy, you do get those kind of mini-scrums. It's just the time of year that stuff is going to happen. Hopefully in the summer that will be a different story."


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