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3 talking points ahead of Mayo v Monaghan


Mike Finnerty

1 Mayo’s record away from home
IN the last three seasons Mayo have only lost three league games away from home — to Galway (2018) and Dublin (2017 and 2019).
During that time they’ve gone to the likes of Monaghan, Tyrone, Kerry, Kildare and Meath and come up with wins, while two draws with Donegal in Ballybofey won’t be forgotten anytime soon either.
Mayo’s impressive away record is just one of the reasons why they will approach next Sunday’s trip to Clones feeling quietly confident that they can upset the odds again.
It’s often been said by players (past and present) that being able to stay overnight ahead of away games helps to galvanise the group and prepare them for battle.
It certainly hasn’t done them any harm in recent seasons.

2 The captaincy question
JAMES Horan said after the Donegal game that he planned to make an announcement on a permanent Mayo captain for the season after the third round of the National League.
So the chances are that we will learn any day now whether Diarmuid O’Connor will retain the captaincy for a second season or if the baton will be passed to one of his team-mates.
Based on the captains for the first four games of the year, O’Connor, Paddy Durcan, Aidan O’Shea or Stephen Coen are the four players in the running for the honour.
Any of them would be popular choices in the dressing-room.

3 The absence of Colm Boyle
NO official timeframe has been put on the inspirational Davitts’ man rehabilitation from his serious knee injury but all the signs would suggest that he will be out of action until late in the summer — at best.
So where does that leave Mayo’s defence in the meantime with four crunch league matches coming in quick succession against Monaghan, Kerry, Galway and Tyrone?
Boyle is irreplaceable. His leadership, experience, bravery and dynamic presence is impossible to replicate so the challenge for James Horan is to come up with a Plan B.
An opportunity is about to present itself for somebody.

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