Thursday 19 July 2018

McLoughlin insists Mayo appetite has been there since the start

McLoughlin: “Our appetite has been there from day one.” Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile
McLoughlin: “Our appetite has been there from day one.” Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Kevin McLoughlin looks at Mayo's demolition of Roscommon and near misses against the likes of Derry and Cork and while the results differ greatly, he sees only fine margins.

Little things helped tip the balance in their favour in the All-Ireland quarter-final. He points to an improved work-rate as one of the reasons behind Mayo's spectacular return to the sort of form that has made them so competitive over the last seven years.

He reckons that tactically they were much better and insists they got a little bit of luck early on to help them dismantle their rivals. Just don't suggest to him that Mayo somehow rediscovered their appetite for the game.

"Our appetite has been there from day one," McLoughlin insists. "From the start of the year we've had a serious appetite, maybe it doesn't always show in our performances, but you can be assured that we have.

"Probably the last day it was a combination of things, one or two tactical things, we upped our work-rate to a far superior level than the previous day.

"To be honest, a small bit of luck came our way too. We got our goals fairly quick, Roscommon hit the post twice on the one shot; little, small things allowed us to get ahead early and probably a mixture then of them giving up earlier than expected."

Floodgates

McLoughlin grabbed the first goal and helped open the floodgates as Mayo produced their best performance of the summer.

"We always have that belief because we know if we do our stuff right we can perform," he explained. "It is good to have got that performance, but for Kerry the next day we are going to have to do it more. They are going to pose a different type of opposition to us.

"Unfortunately, you cannot be hoping that you just do the same as you did the last day. You need to be in the mind frame to do it again, to back yourself to do it again."

Mayo renew rivalry with the Kingdom on Sunday looking to end a run of eight games without a win in championship against the Munster kingpins. Their most recent clash came at the semi-final stage in 2014 when Kerry emerged victorious after extra-time in a thrilling replay at the Gaelic Grounds, but McLoughlin reckons it is of little relevance.

"I'd put it this way, all of our analysis and stuff won't be looking back on that game," he said.

"We have played them a good few times since then, in the league even this year, down in Kerry. So they are the types of games we will be judging this on, we are taking this as its own game, it is no reflection of 2014."

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