FORMER Mayo manager James Horan believes Kildare benefitted psychologically from their defiant stance against the GAA in the build-up to last weekend’s win over Mayo, but has backed his former charges to bounce back from their defeat.
Speaking to The Mayo News Football Podcast, the Sky Sports analyst said that Kildare had been worthy winners of a high-scoring shoot-out.
“The best team won today,” he said. “I thought Kildare were really good when they needed to be.
“Kildare finished the game really well… and when they went ahead they closed out the game very well, and that’s not what you associate with Kildare, because that Kildare team has been inconsistent in the last number of years.
“So you have to think that the defiance showed and built during the week definitely influenced their psychology towards the end of that game because they were getting stronger and stronger and Mayo started to wilt a little it.”
Horan also said he felt that losing the likes of Tom Parsons and Seamie O’Shea to injury severely weakened the Mayo side in the final 15 minutes, particularly when Kildare introduced their subs.
But the current Westport boss finished by praising the character of this Mayo squad and doesn’t agree with the assumption that a difficult transition period is approaching.
“That Mayo team have absolutely brilliant characters, brilliant people,” he said. “There will be a few of them that will look at themselves, but the world keeps spinning.
“Cian Hanley, he’ll be ready next year; James Durcan, he’s a real find; Conor Loftus is coming through and some of that All-Ireland minor winning team will be really starting to show next year.”