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Harrison not distracted by Mayo critics

Sport

FIGHTING FIT Mayo’s Brendan Harrison is pictured at MacHale Park, Castlebar last week. Pic: Sportsfile

Interview

Mike Finnerty

ALL Star defender Brendan Harrison is adamant that criticism of the Mayo team in recent months, and of Aidan O’Shea, in particular recently, won’t distract the players from their primary objectives this summer.
Speaking exclusively to The Mayo News Football Podcast, the Aghamore defender admitted that he was aware of the criticism being levelled at the Mayo squad in the wake of last year’s All-Ireland Final defeat and a subsequent interview with former managers Noel Connelly and Pat Holmes.
However, Harrison said none of it ‘filters through’ once the Mayo players get into training and game-day mode.
“You do hear it, it’s impossible not to,” he said.
“But it doesn’t affect us on the field, once you’re going out the gate training, it’s the last thing on your mind.
“All you’re thinking about is getting out on the training field and playing ball. You’re not thinking about what somebody is writing in the paper or what might or might not be true.
“It’s not a distraction, we’re just trying to be the best we can be every day we go out.
“Comments like that don’t filter through.”
“Obviously Aidan [O’Shea] is aware of it,” he added when asked about recent criticism of Mayo’s highest-profile player.
“He’d want to be living under a rock not to be. But mentally he’s so strong, these things don’t seep into his performance.”
Harrison missed Mayo’s recent win over Sligo with a hamstring injury but has resumed full training since.
After lining out in last summer’s championship defeat to Galway, he’s hoping to feature on Sunday week next.
“These are the days when you’re out the backyard as a kid, pretending you’re playing against Galway,” he admitted.
“That’s what you play football for, these summer days and championship. There’s great excitement coming into a championship game, especially going up to Galway to Pearse Stadium.
“It’s going to be a tough game, Galway are going well, they’re confident. But we’re working hard ourselves and we’re going to work hard over the next few weeks to be ready.”
As for Mayo’s hopes of going all the way to All-Ireland glory this year, Harrison was characteristically circumspect.
“People maybe question the mood in the camp, but I think it’s very good, very upbeat at the minute.
“Everybody is very excited, and there’s a great buzz around championship time when the sun is shining. I think there’s a bit of a pep in the step at the moment.
“But we’re not thinking too far ahead at the moment, we’re just thinking about the next game, about Galway.”

LISTEN
You can hear the full Brendan Harrison interview on the latest episode of The Mayo News Football Podcast below


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