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All together now

Sport
Mickey and James embrace
All together now

Mike Finnerty

Croke Park

THE county’s football supporters have been asked by Mayo manager Mickey Moran to give the players time and space to prepare ahead of the All-Ireland Senior Final against Kerry on Sunday, September 17.
The squad will not be holding any open training sessions between now and the final, and their only official engagement will be a press night with the local and national media.
“All I would ask is that this time Mayo supporters give the players the space to train for two or three weeks,“ Mickey Moran explained to The Mayo News last night. “It will make all the difference. We’re going to meet eight times and work hard with the players, everything else will be kept out of their hands.
“I’m going to be honest, we’re not going to have any open training sessions between now and the final. We need to have a lot of intense sessions, we’ll be doing different things, and it’s a time for the players to focus in on Kerry. To beat them in an All-Ireland Final is going to take one hell of an effort and we need to get work done.
“I would like to thank all the Mayo supporters for their marvellous support. I think they started to believe last Sunday, even when we were seven points down. They got behind us and they realised that that these lads have gelled and are focussed.
“My plea to the supporters ahead of the final is, ‘let the lads make every session count now’. John [Morrison] and I have a saying: ‘Don’t count the days, make the days count’. That’s what we need to do.
“We’ve worked together, the players, management and Board all year. We’re like a family, we sort things out internally, and we work things out. The lads have already said that there were things done and not done in the past that will be need to be got right this time round.”
Speaking from his home in Derry, Moran admitted that he was drained after the dramatic semi-final victory over Dublin. He paid tribute to his players and backroom team and selected some highlights from the match after a little gentle persuasion.
“When the ball came off the post at the end, Keith Higgins ran out and dived full length to block down Jason Sherlock’s kick. There was just no way Dublin were going to get that score. The boys went in where it hurt, they wanted it so much. Ronan [McGarrity] was in tears at half-time when he couldn’t go back on because of concussion. That’s how much it meant to him, and the lads knew that. They want so much to win this All-Ireland for the people of Mayo. They don’t want to have any excuses after we play Kerry, and that will mean everybody working hard for the next three weeks.”