Sunday 18 August 2019

Horan left bemoaning passing accuracy as Keane hails Moran effort

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

"It's hard to win a free in Killarney, particularly in an attacking sense," noted Mayo manager James Horan as he reflected on home advantage in his first Super 8 experience.

His Mayo team had been "comprehensively" beaten - their biggest championship defeat since the 2006 All-Ireland final - and they had to "take it on the chin" as he reflected on a 10-point defeat to a Kerry team that they had beaten in the league final just three months earlier.

"We struggled in the middle of the field," he said. "David Moran caught a lot of ball in the first half and then ball that we did get, we kicked away a huge percentage of it.

"Our kick-passing was quite poor right throughout the game, so when you're not winning much ball in the middle and anything you do get, you're kicking it away, you're going to struggle. We put ourselves and our full-back line under immense pressure, particularly in the first half.

"We're a little bit down in the dumps after our performance but we'll move on quickly. We've a long bus journey to reflect and hopefully we'll be fine by the time we get off."

Horan suggested that Patrick Durcan's quad injury leaves him very doubtful for next weekend's game with Meath in Croke Park.

Kerry manager Peter Keane said he hadn't been concerned when they lost the league final to Mayo by four points.

"We had eight changes. That's more than half a team. On top of that, a change that we hadn't made was David Clifford who had only one game played before that in a period of six months," he said.

"We had to give him that game to give him time and get him rolling. I don't think you believe me at all when I'd be talking to you. I wasn't overly concerned about the league final. If we had won it, it would have been great coming away with a cup.

"We wouldn't have been jumping and shouting about it and we weren't crying coming down the road either. There is a huge amount of learning required for those fellas."

Keane was also happy with David Moran's contribution. "We're very happy with where he's at because we need that bit of experience on the field. We have a young squad, a young team, a lot of young lads getting used to it, and we need that type of experience."

Keane said he "wouldn't take any notice" of criticism of their defence. "There was an expectation going into the Cork game that we were going to hammer them altogether, (but) we never had that expectation. When we didn't hammer them after telling you we wouldn't hammer them, it was our fault because we were wrong.

"You can't be right and you can't be wrong, you have to be something. We got out of it, it was a tough game and look at what Cork subsequently did - 1-17 against Dublin."

Irish Independent

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