Horan up for it, team due to be named tonight

The Mayo News has a brief interview with James Horan today where he gives his thoughts on facing Cork next Sunday. Here’s what he has to say:

This is a great opportunity for us. It’s a great chance for us to see where we’re at, to see if there is a gap between us and the likes of Cork. It’s a huge chance, a huge game, and we’re all really looking forward to it. It’s not often you get a chance like this to get a real crack at one of the big guns at this stage of the season. We intend to meet them head on, and go toe-to-toe with them. This group of Mayo players want to do well in every single game and that’s the attitude we’ll be bringing into next weekend too.

That’s exactly the kind of fighting talk we need to see from the manager and it makes a welcome change from the sour-pussed pissing and moaning we had to put up with previously. It is a huge game but it does represent a great opportunity for us to show that we can hold our own with the best at the business end of the season. Also writing in same paper, Noel Connelly sees some similarities between Sunday’s match and our 1996 All-Ireland semi-final against Kerry. That was one of the sweetest days of all for this generation of Mayo supporters and wouldn’t it be just great if the class of 2011 could give us another classic to add to the collection?

In that first article linked above, it’s also stated that the team will be announced after training tonight. Ger Cafferkey and Enda Varley are both said to be pushing hard for a place in the starting fifteen but it appears that Ronan McGarrity is still less than 100% fit and so will start on the bench. Once the team is named (which I guess will be some time after nine tonight) I’ll post the details here.

24 thoughts on “Horan up for it, team due to be named tonight

  1. Willie Joe, isn’t it great to see this type of honesty coming from the Manager?

    I would love to see James try something different on Sunday and what I mean here is that we take Cork on in the middle third of the field where they dominate matches. If we could break even in this area then I think we are in with a great chance of winning this game. If McGarrity is nearly fit I would start him at wing forward and let him drift into the middle to compete with the Cork midfield. It would also give us a great option on our own kick outs.

    There must be 30 good minutes in McGarrity and I would prefer to have this in the first half than to bring him on when we are chasing the game. Traditionally we are bad starters and we cannot afford to allow this happen on Sunday. We need to be going in at half time still in this game.
    Imagine having the two O’Shea’s and McGarrity in this space.

  2. Way I see it we have to compete with Cork in their faces. I think though the problem for us is we will be up against it in the second half. To beat Cork you have to do it one of 2 ways.

    Either build up a mssive lead ala Kerry in the Munster final and hope they don’t reel you in or do a Dublin on them and defend deep in numbers and play a counter attacking game. So far we have not had any experience of defending a lead so personally I would choose option B and flood the defence and hit them as hard as possible when they are coming through.

    Therefore bring back Andy Moran and Kevin McLoughlin and bring Alan Freeman out to the 1/2 forward line. Then use long balls up to O’Connor and Doherty and let them shoot on sight.

  3. Good post press officer! I like the idea of having Mcgarrity at wing forward too! as you rightly point out we need to start this game well.
    Also refreshing to see our manager being so positive! This team, both players and management, appear to be putting in an honest effort and i hope they are rewarded on Sunday!

  4. Was at the Down Cork match last weekend. While the idea of McGarrity at wing forward sound appealing, putting someone who is only half fit into a match against cork would be a big mistake. Miskella scored a point in the opening minute at the weekend. Their half back line attack all the time so we need to have people who will stick with them like Andy and McLoughlin. Not sure this would be McGarrity’s strongest attribute. Look at the example a couple of weeks ago Kildare v Meath. A very tight match where Meath were well in it until their workhorse half forward Seamus Kenny went off. His replacement didn’t track Emmet Bolton and the wing back scored 1-2 from play making the difference.

    I see Noel Connelly is being quite pessimistic. I hope he’s wrong.

  5. He was pessimistic against the Rossies too so I wouldnt read too much into it

  6. Agree with MuigheoGoDeo, Mc Garrity is not a wing forward. would leave kissane or o leary free to raid downfield all day long.
    Everyone has spoken recently about how great Cork are at winning ball around the middle, even Joe Brolly said they probably win more ball than any team in history, often winning up to 80% of breaks. I feel mayo strength is their ballwinning ability in the middle third also, so im secretly confident that we can upset cork in this area and at least break even in the possesion stakes. If this happens it should be a tight game, and you never know they might get nervious if theres only a point in in with ten mins left. Then we’d find out who the real championship players are for mayo.

    A big concern for mayo is our lack of physicality compared to cork, You’d worry about some of our fellas when the serious hitting starts. What we wouldn’t give to have a Brady or Mac Manamon there around the middle of the field to soften up the cork lads. Still, no point looking at the past, a chance for some new mayo heroes to come of age on Sunday.

  7. Down were destroyed in the middle of the field the last day. Both midfielders were taken off. King after 34 minutes and McArdle after 45 minutes. Cork won a mountain of primary possession. Alan O’Connor had a blinder in the air, caught everything.

    If we are winning primary possession in the middle of the field then the Cork half back line will only be going in one direction. If McGarrity is fit to play then he should be fit to start, all we need is 35 minutes from him. Get us to half time still in the game, hopefully ahead! We cannot afford to let Cork get up a head of steam. If he is not fit then fair enough.

    McGarrity doesn’t need to be a wing forward. The modern game does not dedicate positions any longer. Pearse O’Neil isn’t a wing forward but Cork play him there as an alternative option on kick outs.

    You make the point Aussie Exile about our lack of physicality which I agree with and that is why we need to strengthen the team, particularly, in the middle third.

    I just think we need to do something different on Sunday. We must have an element of surprise. Going into the game thinking that we can take Cork on man for man is in my opinion naïve. In 2006 we all knew that the main threat was Donaghy at FF and O’Sullivan at CF (not to mention the Gooch!) but the game was over before we made the necessary changes. I can still remember that sickening feeling after 15 minutes or so.

  8. When Cork win ball, they play a fist pass and run game, and with their physique allowing them to play a running game would be fatal. Their weakness is delivering direct ball inside and working a score that way. Therefore, this points to flooding the midfield rather than the defence. If they don’t have the ball, we do.

  9. That’s true Digits. But even with flooding the midfield againt Cork I believe they will still win a fair sahre of the ball. They just have too many big guys there not to.
    I know we could scrap it out there but my fear is that once Cork get through the initial midfield line their natural athleticism will not allow them to be caught and our defence will then be at their mercy.

  10. It´s great to hear a positive attitude from a Mayo manager. All we want is an honest, wholehearted effort from everyone. If you have 15 lads on the field with a co-ordinated team approach, who are willing to put 70 full minutes in, for the pride of the county, anything can happen.

    Go for it, lads. I, for one, will kick every ball with ye.

    Keep the Faith!

  11. Lads did any of you stand beside the O`Shea bros.Not exactly Sunday school girls in the physical end of things.Neither are Messers Vaughen Feeney or Moran and I don`t see Mortimer pulling out of too many tackles either.
    Come to think of it Dillon for a small lad doesn`t get pushed around too much either.
    McLoughlin is probally a bit light but he has the pace to dodge a lot of the hits.And if we need any more muscle around the middle third there`s always Campbell and Kilcullen and those two can hit!
    So really I wouldn`t be too worried about us being pushed around the next day.

  12. dont think there will be many changes,to me doherty the only one in danger of losing his place after 3 fairly ordinary championship games. other than that horan wont change it and i agree with that. mcgarrity will be a big lift to the team ala brady v dubs 06 , when introduced. it would be nice to see us a point or two up with 20 min to go, we see what both teams were made of then. hope everyone posting and reading here will go to croker as we need big support for this one.

  13. I am always optimistic of Mayos chances prior to
    big Matches but Im afraid not this time. I just dont see where its going to come from As i feel since james Horan took over the reins we are in a 3 to 4 year process and I look at sundays game as a tester to where we are at this stage of that process.A hiding for us would be shocking but a 4 to 5 point loss would be acceptable and would be a useful excercise going foreward . I will be in croker on Sunday roaring them on and all we can look for is a mighty good performance and see us develop further in the process Im not a pessimest Im a realist.. Mayo Abu

  14. I think Doherty is the only vulnerable one alright but Horan may stick with him again to see if he can sort himself out.
    McGarrity is a good sub alright but I wouldn’t put him in the Brady class – he’s unlikely to greet his marker with a haymaker! And that may be a good thing.
    The important thing is to not let them rule the roost, they are big men so our bucks will have to be tough and not get pushed over or aside too easily. If the day is wet they’d want to sort something for the boots – I’ve watched the game again from the Hyde and they were sliding all over the place and falling like nine pins at times.
    Come on Mayo!

  15. Its fine to have determination and be positive but that must be backed up with action, I’m hoping that the backroom team are looking at this game tactically and have a plan. Determination and positivity alone wont be enough but I have no doubt that we will give them a contest.
    I’m living down south and even giving them a fright will be good enough for me the amount of smugness thats going on. they are openly discussing Kerry in the semi. Cant blame them I suppose although any good GAA man should know that nothing as unpredictable as a GAA match.
    I’m not responding to the jibes except to say “jays we’ll hardly keep the ball kicked out to ye” or “sure we’re just going for the day out and to have a look at the place”
    The long grass lads, the long grass.

  16. My young lad threw himself on the couch crying when I told him we drew cork. he’s usually a good barometer for any match as he doesn’t have long term memories of 1993 etc. However when he was given the choice of going to a neighbours bbq with his mates or going to war in croker he looked me in the eye and said I’m going with daddy! Proud to be a mayoman!

  17. Exile I admire your forebearance in such stressful times. They are not shy about their alleged superiority! It’s a good position to be in really but as the days go on I’m growing in confidence and hopefulness.
    Up the Green and Red.

  18. Not so long ago I took a luas journey into the City centre with me better half, (who was expecting at the time). We were in great form, delighted to be heading to a final in Croker again and the bucks with the cork jerseys were as usual thin on the ground.

    My upbeat attitude at the time was mainly due to the fact that we had a great league campaign behind us, winning away match’s the hard way and falling the right end of scorelines by a point or two that normally we’d lose and bemoan the fact that we weren’t clever enough etc etc. On the strength of that and the fact that the Cork team were by no means the finished article (this is before they won the all ireland now) I was not unreasonably looking forward to a good performance at the very least.

    Anyway, twenty minutes in and we were again about to go looking for survivors. That sick sick Croke Park feeling that hollows out your insides and leaves you with that dread, that emptyness, that rotten loss of identity… well ye know what I mean.

    So, whilst foghting talk and long grass are to be encouraged, lets just take stock of our achievements here- London after ET, a dire Galway and Rossies in the rain. Not to say I am not proud of the lads, its been tough since Meath and its great to be Connaught Champions again, but whats the grounds for optimism here really?

    Even if we do turn up and pull a Tyrone or a Dublin on the day, (look ye have me at it now) does anyone actually think that we are the Down of 2011? Even Horan doesn’t think that. My point is we can get carried away here with very little to go on, and we should resist that. I would love nothing more than to be proved very wrong indeed.

    Anyway, Ill be there in the 96 jersey with the family (its her first trip to Croker, thankfully shes young enough not to remember if its bad remember 51) and I’ll be there wherever they go when i can.

    Huuuup Mayoooo

  19. Lads, maybe i’m naieve but i think we can cause a shock on Sunday! I can feel it in my gut!
    It’s beginning to feel a lot like 2004 where 2 teams Tyrone & Armagh were meant to coast home and neither ended up winning.
    On our day we are good enough for anyone!
    Maigh Eo forever
    Naughty81

  20. Naughty if both ourselves and Limerick win ill start building the bonfire for the homecoming- in september!

  21. Ted, no no no 🙂 i certainly didnt mean limerick had a chance of winning:-P

  22. One minor point. Noel Connelly’s assertion that this has similarities with the 1996 semi is only true from the Mayo perspective. However there is no comparison in terms of the opposition. In 1996 Kerry had just won Munster after a 5 year gap (probably the only time they treated it as like winning an all-ireland) whereas this Cork team are far more experienced and fra further down the road. Connelly’s point in terms of expectancy in Mayo is correct which gives ye a decent chance.

  23. My God that victory was so so sweet. Never been as proud of the lads! Tears of happiness flowed. Unreal…..

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