IN WITH A SHOUT Mayo manager James Horan reacts after Matthew Ruane scored the only goal of the game last Saturday night against Kerry. Pic: Sportsfile
1 Overnight stays pay off for Mayo
IT’S ten years now since Mayo lost a National League match away to Kerry; that timeframe takes in five matches in total.
A number of Mayo players have made the point over the years that travelling to play games away from home, staying overnight, and getting ‘into camp’ in the build-up is always a big help to their preparations.
Interestingly, Mayo stayed in a hotel in Fermanagh together the night before they beat Tyrone last month, but travelled to Dublin on the day they lost to the All-Ireland champions.
Last Friday night they bedded down in Adare in Limerick on Friday night while they were treated to an overnight stay in Tralee after Saturday’s victory.
It seems money well spent, based on the two away wins.
2 Nobody’s position is safe anymore
ROTATION has been the name of James Horan’s game this spring as he stays true to his word of picking players who are showing form in training.
The man himself has said on numerous occasions that if there’s a close call to be made between a new, young player and an experienced, established one, then he’ll be going with the newcomer.
We can only assume then that explained why Colm Boyle and Andy Moran started on the bench against Kerry, and both were drafted in during the second half as impact subs.
Into the team came Michael Plunkett for his third start of this league, and Conor Loftus for his first appearance of the campaign.
Lee Keegan, who was understood to be under the weather last week, was kept in reserve but also joined the fray when the fat was in the fire.
3 Some key men still on the mend
THERE was no sign of Cillian O’Connor, Ger Cafferkey, Paddy Durcan, Cian Hanley, Ciaran Treacy or Evan Regan in Mayo’s match-day squad of 26 last Saturday in Tralee so that would suggest they’re all still working their way back to match fitness.
We’ll just have to wait and see if any of them manage to force their way into James Horan’s plans for next Sunday.
Horan confirmed last weekend that O’Connor, who was in Dubai last weekend, won’t feature against Monaghan next Sunday either.
So that will leave Mayo’s talisman short on match practice with only around six weeks remaining until the Connacht championship starts in New York.