DESPITE Mayo’s third victory of this National Football League campaign last Sunday, John O’Mahony was adamant afterwards that his team’s position in Division 1 had still not been assured for next season.
“I wouldn’t see our position consolidated with six points,” he told The Mayo News. “I think we need more points. We are going to go after everything we can now. To a certain extent the pressure is off us a little because the Limerick and Fermanagh games are the ones you are expected to win.
“Cork’s last home performance against Tyrone was magnificent and there’ll be a backlash after their loss to Dublin. It’s difficult to get points away from home, we’ll be going in as underdogs, and hopefully we’ll relish that.”
Mayo’s defence recovered from an indifferent opening to produce an outstanding display, holding Fermanagh scoreless for a 40 minute period. All six had their moments with Billy Padden turning in an accomplished performance at centre-half back.
“It’s knitting in and they’re getting used to each other,” John O’Mahony admitted. “Enda Devenney has settled in well, so has Liam O’Malley, all of them as a group are doing well. It’s important for a defence that they play well as a unit as well as individually.
“Billy Joe has settled in well at centre-back and hopefully we can get that team-work going because any team is greater than any individuals. We’re not there yet but we’re getting there.”
On the injury front, Barry Moran is expected to return to full training this week. The Castlebar Mitchels midfielder lined out for the Mayo U-21 team last Saturday after recovering from tonsilitis and injury.
Goalkeeper David Clarke was not on the bench for Mayo last Sunday because of a back injury but Kevin O’Neill is expected to have recovered from his hamstring strain for the match against Cork on Saturday week.
However, David Brady looks likely to miss the trip to Pairc Uí Rinn due to his calf injury. The Ballina midfielder hopes to do some running next weekend and the April 1 clash with Dublin looks the most likely date for his return.
And what of Ciaran McDonald? “Ciaran did a bit of light training with us during the last few weeks,” O’Mahony revealed. “He’s working in Cork at the minute, that contract is due to finish soon, but we have to be patient.
“This was an injury that affected Ciaran before the All-Ireland last year. We’ll have him back as soon as we can. He’s doing everything, our medical team are doing everything, but he’s not going to be available for the next game or two.”