149 thoughts on “It’s Clare

  1. Tough game but could have been worse. Clare are on the up and will need to be fully respected.

  2. That’s a very tricky challenge for us.

    Clare ran Kerry very close with only a late Kerry goal putting a bit of gloss on the scoreline.

    Quarter finalists last year, they beat Rossies en route and held their own in div 2 this year.

    I’m tellin ye now, if we aren’t absolutely tuned in for the full 70+ minutes then our year will end in Ennis.

  3. You’d miss the home draw…….was getting used to it. Clare are ok but really we should be good enough to win.

  4. The only way this draw would have been worse would have been to go to ballybofey. Meath away would have been less tricky than Clare away. The latter are a more form team. They rarely have a bad performance whereas Meath are very hit and miss. Clare beat cork in the league, were v close against Galway.

    It’s not the draw I wanted.

  5. Not a good draw. Clare are the form team out of the 4. Stayed with Kerry the whole way. Full of running. Full of scorers. I nearly would have preferred Donegal. At least we wouldn’t have to score much to beat them given their defensive structure. Nervous.

  6. Agree Mayonaze.. this is a very tricky one. Clare trained by Tuam man Alan Flynn a very good friend and indeed coached alongside Stephen Rochford in Galway.

  7. Tough draw. We’re a team playing with a lack of confidence pitted against a team beaming with confidence. In their home ground.

  8. Qualifiers MIT suit us again this year. It gives us a chance to use our squad. We should have more strength in depth than Clare and more big game experience. FB is a problem and we need to do something in next game cos it is going to cost us. Coen or Vaughan would be better there than where they played on Sat. Nally and Higgins can slot into half back slots. Get Doherty in corner goals in him and Loftus in other. Andy impact sub and a good one. Mayo 4 Sam Galway 4 Liam!!

  9. Just saw.a stat on Twitter that this is our first away trip in qualifiers since 2010 defeat to Longford. Say nothing!

  10. an away match, had hoped for another home draw,but non the less i will be there
    we need to be fully tuned in for 70mins the next day,clare are not to be taking lightly
    they will fancy themselves for this one, when will we know more about lee and his injury ?

  11. Clare are a big strong mobile team, they’ll put it up to us in Ennis. Hopefully there will be a good crowd from Mayo at it. I had heard rumours last night that the draw was pre-recorded and we had Meath away, don’t know where these things come from!!

  12. I think its another easy enough draw to be honest,
    1: Clare were well beaten last year by Kerry
    2: Kerry beat them with 14 men by 6 pts
    3: Were getting more confidence again, hence the last 10 and extra time
    4: Away to Donegal or Meath would be harder. Its the third easiest draw I feel.
    If we play anyways better than last weekend we win easily.

  13. I believe this was the toughest draw.
    Clare going well, comfortable in div 2 following promotion, good run last year, bar stage fright in hq v kingdom.
    Played really well against kerry and laois.
    Mayo will need to be tuned into this game and play well to beat clare.
    Injuries and suspension are an issue for next Sat.
    This will not be easy.

  14. Tough draw for sure. Listened to their game on the radio v Laois while driving down to our game. John Casey was covering it and his views on them will be worth a listen. Apparently they have blinding pace in the forwards with players like Cleary, Sexton and Malone on fire in addition to Collins and Brennan for good measure. If we play this one by going through the gears we will be chasing the game. We certainly need to abandon that two defenders as wing forwards approach which was such a negative in the first half last Saturday. Roll on the weekend.

  15. Yes Tuamstar, Alan has an excellent reputation as a coach.

    This is a big challenge now for Rochford.

  16. If Mayo want to win an All Ireland then this is the best test we could have got. We will see exactly what they can do now if they are serious contenders. Mayo wil probably be underdogs given Clares current form. Come on Mayo

  17. Clare are an improving team. You would think on current form they are a better team than Derry and not as good as Galway (based on Division 2 results etc.) So that is what we face. Roll on the game!

  18. Imo, this is the hardest draw we could have got.
    Meath are a very limited team nowadays, while Donegal are struggling to overcome the loss of so many experienced players.
    Even Tomas O Se said last night that nobody will fancy going to Ennis.

    Mayo should win, but any repeat of some of what we witnessed in the first 70 mins in the Derry game, will see this end in tears

  19. Toughest draw we could get, and yes I’m including Donegal in Ballybofey in that. Clare are a well coached team with a very strong, mobile midfield and lads who can kick a score. They’re in the best form of the teams we could have drawn and they are better than Derry. This is an extremely dodgy draw. Clare will be confident coming into this.

  20. Rather to be going in a bit undercooked than overconfident. Away draws are part of the back door and we got lucky with home draws last year. Team have plenty to work on mostly in their heads rather than training field (ruthlessness). Our S&C coaching deserves great credit and we know we can last 70-100 but just be nice to get on top of the scoreboard early for once and stay on top.
    Need a plan for Turbridy who’s a fine player (Barry Moran sweeper?) but after that just a case of using our panel well and being more ruthless. Clare may be game but not AI contenders. Dubs and Kerry would hope to beat them by 10. We could have beaten a very game Derry by 8 or 10 or more with shooting boots on. Goal scoring drills important as we’re making chances. Central channel defense needs addressing. Sin sin.

  21. Won’t be easy!
    Hopefully we start like we finished in Castlebar. Loftus had a good day out last time he played for Mayo in Ennis.
    Have to say I enjoy the qualifiers

  22. I know Clare will be licking their lips with this draw. A chance to take down a big team on their patch.

    Mayo need to be mentally right. And get McLoughlin back sweeping. All shoulders to the wheel and at least our dismal 70 mins v Derry will knock any complaceny out of us. Next weekend will tell us exactly where this Mayo team are.

  23. Clare weren’t v close to Galway in the league Mayonaze. Galway led by 9 at HT and ended up winning by 8. Think Mayo will have too much for them even in Ennis, they’re a limited side. Mayo’s forwards will need to find their shooting boots fast however, cos Saturday’s form is becoming the norm and won’t be good enough for much longer. Hope it happens, but not holding my breath.

  24. Jesus lads, talking of mentality if any of our lads take the mentality of the first 26 posts or so they may as well forget about it. We sound like a shower of frightened sheep! We’re one of the top 3 teams in the country, Clare deserve to be respected but sounds like we’re afraid of them.
    If Alan Flynn is that good maybe we got the wrong man??

  25. Tough draw. We should have enough though. Coen to FB and for god sake start loftus CF. up Mayo

  26. Tough enough draw. Clare are a decent cream with some dangerous players, definitely a step up from Derry. If Mayo play to their strengths and give quick direct ball then should win. We only played direct football 2-3 times on saturday, each resulting in a score.

    Saturday showed the AOS needs to be operating in the middle, Derry were poor but its the first time in a long time we dominated mf.

    I would forget about sweepers and over reliance on tactics, Mayo are a far better team when we operate on the front foot and go at teams. If a sweeper is nessassary then it must be KMc, at least 6 offensive players on the field when we have possession. Please, no defenders playing in the forwards, we need attackers taking shots not defenders taking hit and hopes.

    Harrison, Caff, Higgins
    Barrett, Keegan, Boyle
    AOS, Parsons
    KMc, DOC, Boland
    Loftus, COC, Doherty

  27. Would be worried if we’d scraped by Derry in normal time. However the extra time performance surely was a the confidence boost this team needed. Not a bad draw really.

  28. Tough draw but I think strength in depth will see us through and the game time will be beneficial for the players. A tough game but coming through it will build on much needed confidence that was coming through from extra time on Saturday.

  29. Clare decent team but Mayo will prevail.Good man marker on Malone needed.I think Cleary is their best footballer but Brennan if fit also good.
    They ate not as good as Mayo but really Rochford has to get it right.A good start would help.
    Dont think Loftus should start but Doherty should.Big men needed.

  30. This is a good test for us but Cusack pk is a happy hunting ground Loftus Boland Coen and Diumuid won a all ireland there last year and a away trip is good for the squad as its only short trip to Ennis ….Its good that Clare are being built up a bit like Tipp last year Tomas oshea really talked them up last night but remember to that they were playing against 14 men their last 2 games…..Mayo to win now we have shook off some of them cobwebs….

  31. A tricky tie but if Mayo are any way right we should be winning this by a few points. I think (and hoping) our ET performance will be of benefit.

  32. Christ almighty. Why don’t we give them tbe game now and save us the trouble. Ffs it’s Clare and they’ve just beaten a dead Laois team that got hammered down to div 4.
    So what is their coach knows Rochford, does he not know him too?
    This is as good a draw as we could have got.

  33. If Dublin were playing Clare they would expect to win by 12-15 pts. If u want to be beating Dublin you have to develop the same mindset.

  34. Its a tight ground is Cusack pk might have to be all ticket as there will be at least 10000 from Mayo and the ground holds less than 20000 all terrace except for small stand….The more i think of it i think we will beat them up around the middle 8 ….

  35. This is a really good opportunity for our forwards to find a bit of form. I expect they will.

    Clare will be cursing their luck as they know this is the end of the road.

    Mayo by 8.

  36. Clare have some useful forwards like Cleary and Tubridy. Tubridy hit three lovely points versus Kerry.
    Obviously Gary Brennan at midfield. We need to go at their defence with pace and power. I think a win on the road would be good for the team if we can get it.
    No harm to get out of McHale, we’ve hardly had a decent match in McHale in a long time.

  37. It won’t be easy but mayo will beet them people talking like if clare was a division one team come on looks like the car will get a good run from the hills of donegal to ennis that derry game will stand to them

  38. Believe and keep believing lads.
    Good memories of Ennis. It’ll be the same again P.G.

  39. Huey2016 – I agree.

    Start with Doherty, big men needed.

    Loftus to come on with 20 mins to go and cause them problems.

    Qualifiers are good, match time needed.

  40. I hate to see the negativity here if we were playing Meath or Donegal away! Clare deserve every respect, but Cusack Park is hardly a fortress and they are a Division 2 team that never threatened promotion. We have good memories of playing in Ennis, going back to a qualifier in 2002! Mayo by 5.

  41. Ger Cafferkey, Chris Barrett, Keith Higgins, Colm Boyle, Seamus O’Shea, Barry Moran, Fergal Boland, Diarmuid O’Connor, Stephen Coen and Conor Loftus all won their U21 Celtic crosses in Cusack Park in Ennis. If that doesn’t make it a happy hunting ground for us, I don’t know what does!

  42. That is a tough draw, Gary Brennan is probably one of the top three midfielders in the country. He didn’t play in a lot of the early games in the league as he was tied up for the club hurling final and he makes them thick. If he had been avaiable they would have been very close to promotion to division one. He destroyed Roscommon last year in Pearse stadium in the qualifiers, Parson and Aido will have to put in a serious shift. In Sexton, Tubridity and Eoin Cleary they have forwards that are serious quick and can win their own ball.

    Add this to the fact that Mayo have never beaten a team away at their home ground in the qualifiers, a banana skin for sure. Clare need the utmost respect

  43. More lead for your pencils – we’re 1/4 with Paddy Power to win this one and we’re now 1/2 to reach the All-Ireland quarter-final.

  44. I actually love the qualifiers!

    Saturday evenings, weekly games, weekly draws, extra time, trips to Ennis – I can’t wait!

    How do we get as many Mayo people as possible travelling to this one?!

    I’m getting the Mayo colours up in the office here

    In this together! Up Mayo!

  45. GAAloopy – Mayo beat Westmeath last year away in Croke Park in a qualifier games. I also remember beating Tipperary away one year….was that game in Ennis? Didn’t Conor Mortimer fire his Mayo jersey into the crowd?

  46. Yew tree the stat is way at the other teams home ground, not a neutral venue. Just seen it on twitter.

  47. It’s a tough but wonderful draw, wonderful to be there in the first place.. Some things definitely need to change for the upcoming fixture… Firstly Mayo conceded far too many goal chances V Derry…. Keegan is far better attacking from 5,rather than 6…so I would keep him at No 5..I would play Kevin McLoughlin as sweeper, two reasons his performance was good, he should after last year’s experience be able to play the role very well and stop them goal chances trough the middle the Mayo conceded last Saturday.. .. I would play Boyle at 6..and Higgins at 7..with instructions to attack at will.. Cillian needs to start, and take his simple points, even if they are goal chances..get the instinctive feeling back, he’s snatching at chances, in Salthill and again on Saturday… Missing simple chances is infective and it was easy to see the hesitation that had spread to the rest of our forwards until Louftus hit the rigging .. I feel, that Coen, Vaughan or Boland could easily lose out on the starting line up next Saturday, Boland has been effective in creating the chances but over the two last match’s there have been some amount of criminal misses.. High Ball into our full back line resulted in a goal and a penalty on Saturday,.. So a big decision to be made there ….It’s either Caff, Coen or Vaughan, I’m inclined to go with Caff but if changes need to be made, make them early.

    Aido looks back to near his best, SOS looked good as well, So for me, what I would do is.. Midfield, Parson’s and SOS.. And play AOS exactly like on Saturday,moving in and out the middle at will, it will be a nightmare for whoever has to mark him… Andy has been our best forward from play consistently, Cillian is our captain and freetaker, but Louftus has to start, he scored two goals last time he played in Ennis the U21 final of last year.. Looks like the God’s are aligned for Louftus to start in Ennis.. And yes all three can start with Kevin McLoughlin playing sweeper.. I would play Danny Kirby in the a half forward position.
    Danny has scored 6 from 6 difficult enough chances in the league, scored his only chance against Sligo from very little playing time and score taking is something Mayo need.. With Kirby, AOS, SOS and Parsons push up on every Clare kickouts… That’s my plan anyway!

  48. Its gas, again the mantra goes from its the toughest draw to its the easiest draw. The narrative goes from we’ll beat them easy to it could be the end of the road for us. Again most Mayo supporters don’t like the middle ground, it goes from one extreme to the other! Yes we will respect Clare fully but if we take our chances next time (unlike Saturday night), we should be winning this game.

  49. It always amazes me that when we’re off form in the slightest our opposition starts to take on gargantuan proportions. A div 2 team with a few decent players have now developed into a Dublin/Kerry/Tyrone hybrid that we’ve to play in Galatasaray’s home ground.
    The only people in the media I’ve seen talking up Clare are Kerrymen and I’ve never seen a Kerryman say something that didn’t suit the Kingdoms agenda.
    Yes we’ve to treat Clare with respect and our shooting the last day was very poor, but I pray to god this chicken little attitude that exists within a certain band of supporters doesn’t exist within our team.

  50. Agree with all the more recent comments complaining about this posters saying it’s a tricky tie. Both Kerry and Dublin would be hoping to beat them by about 10 or more. We have plenty to work on and our 2nd qualifier last year was a good one on the scoreboard.
    Like all Counties they have some talent in their ranks, so what!!! We have a big enough panel to beat them and kick on. Don’t concede an early goal like Kerry did. Worry about our own game and let Clare worry about theirs. If they present problems plan for them or adapt during game. Yes don’t disrespect them, but after Saturday that’s unlikely to happen. Time now for the team to show themselves they are contenders. We should be beating any of that 3, what the fook are some of ye scared of.

  51. Definetly need to be fully tuned in from the beginning and take our scores or it’s goodnight Vienna

  52. I believe that we’ll win by 5-10 points, but I never buy into this happy hunting ground nonsense.

  53. There is an inferiority complex with some people in this county. I’m not directing that at anyone in particular here folks, but more alluding to a comment DB made in the Sunday game before throw in. He said Derry don’t fear mayo. If they were playing Galway, they’d fear them, but they won’t fear mayo

    Now excuse my French, but that is a total load of blathering horseshit from David Brady.

  54. Exactly GAAloopy…. and, Brennan would walk onto most teams in the country.

    To those who say they hate the negativity etc, I say it’s not negative at all, cautious maybe or apprehensive but I think those sentiments are just being realistic. Were you not all at MacHale Park last weekend?!! We were almost beaten AT HOME by a team that were relegated to Division 3…now we have to play a team who are better than Derry away.

    Sure, Mayo of 3/4 years ago would have gone down to ennis and won by 8/10pts+ (Mayo of 3/4 years wouldnt have been playing in Ennis I hear some of you say) but when was the last time we saw Mayo really win a match comprehensively? It’s been a long time.

    It goes without saying that we all would love to see Mayo go down to Ennis and put in a ‘professional’ performance, dominate at important junctures and be comfortable with 10/15 mins to go. Have we the personnel to do so? Yes. Does our form say we will? Certainly not. It says it will be tight and dogged and will most likely be in the melting pot in the final stretch. Of course Mayo ‘should’ win but if you aren’t a bit concerned then it’s time to get back into the time machine and come back to 2017! We were knocked out of the connacht championship by a team who were playing div 2 football and got out of jail last sat by a team who aren’t good enough to play div 2 football next season…those are the facts.

    If Mayo play anywhere close to their potential then we will win but that’s a big IF.

  55. I know it was our first championship game this year and we had a man sent off relatively early but by God I was taken a back with their movement and skill. Brennan is only one of about six or seven very dangerous players that will cause ye all kinds of trouble,, Clare will fight on their backs on their home pitch the “Seige Of Venice” could get a little name tweak…

  56. GAALoopy – that stat about our never having beaten anyone at their home venue in the qualifiers may be true (and it is) but it definitely suffers from small sample bias. Since 2001 we’ve only played two qualifiers away (i.e. matches at the opposition’s home ground, not matches played at neutral venues) – Derry in 2007 and Longford in 2010. Third time lucky, perhaps?

  57. I cant see how some people think Loftus shouldnt start. A guy who is by now full of confidence and raring to go again needs to start. Its the perfect game to follow up Saturday with. God knows we need someone in the forwards who can take a shot with confidence.

    In reality he isnt the next football messiah who is going to win the AI on his own so shouldnt be build up as such but right now he has shown more in the few mins he was on than the rest of the forwards have shown in three games and indeed the whole of the league. Loftus needs to start for his own development alone.

    I would play him and Doherty in ff line. This will provide much needed pace and movement and will bring the best out of Fergal also.

  58. Mayonaze, I agree. People are saying that Dublin and Kerry would be expecting to beat Clare by 10 points. Well guess what, Dublin and Kerry aren’t in the qualifiers, limping past division 3 opposition in their home ground. Both of those teams are in better positions than we are currently. Advising caution going into this match isn’t being negative, it’s being realistic based on the evidence before our eyes over the last few months. It’s been a very long time since this team went out and tore into any opposition. We’ve been falling over the line of late. To think we’ll hammer Clare just means you haven’t been paying attention.
    Clare are a better team than the team who nearly knocked us on our arses in McHale Park at the weekend, so let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

  59. Does anybody know what happens if Mayo beat Clare, Galway beat Ross, Mayo beat Cork and Ross beat Donegal/Meath? We then have Kerry and Galway waiting for Mayo and Ross, can Galway play either or is their any restriction? It is a quite possible scenario.

  60. This will be the end of the road for Mayo for this year if the required changes are not made in the forward line. That was pathetic on Saturday. Surely there is better forwards in Mayo (part of Roscommon & Sligo) that started last Saturday.

  61. And as for that superstitious shite about away records in the back door will ye just get off the bloody bus and leave the rest of us alone. The only thing that matters is the here and now in 2017.

  62. I’d hate to be going into battle with you dreamysleepynightysnooze. You should change your name to carefulnow 😛

  63. Just saw this “The four provincial champions play the winners from Round 4 of the qualifiers. Draw rules – 1: Two teams who met in a provincial final cannot meet again 2: If one of the provincial champions has already met one of the qualifiers in an earlier match then those two teams cannot be drawn together if such a pairing can be avoided.”
    So we would play Galway.
    Getting ahead of myself but…

  64. I know its only monday morning at 10.45 but ha anybody’s season ticket attendance been updated yet? mine has not and i always get worried when i see ” not attended” ….

  65. mayomad, fergal will be lucky to start after his contribution on saturday.

  66. mayomad – Regarding Loftus – there is a big difference between coming on as a forward and making an impact and then starting a game and being expected to make things happen. For now Loftus as impact sub after Moran has put a shift in for 50 mins is the place for him.

  67. Capacity of Cusack Park Only 14864. Tickets need to be snapped up straight away.
    If we win could be 2 games in a row in Ennis as 50% chance of playing Cork if we win.

  68. Interesting stat from the weekend Kerry forwards had more points scored from play in 2 minutes than the Mayo starting forwards could manage in normal time.

  69. All the same who we got but Clare will do for now. Congrats to team on sticking in and doing the job.Welcome back to Keith Higgins and Aidan OShea and a particular word for a sharpening COC an Andy and one real sparkly Conor Loftus.

  70. If we can’t beat Clare and cork /Roscommon to reach the quarter finals then we have fallen massively since October
    I don’t believe we have and this is a great draw imo
    Testing but one we should get through before a 2 week break to recharge batteries

  71. Clare got to quarter finals last year on merit, to be knocked out by Kerry. And I’m sure they have a target to reach that quarter final stage again this year. Mayo probably not the team they would have liked in the draw today but they are well capable of causing a shock and probably well up for it. We know we should see them off based on ability and experience but one thing for sure this is far from a gimme !! I would rate Clare as a better team and bigger threat than Derry and we saw how close we got to exit door on that one. But we will be favourites in this one and for good reason. We just need to go and control the game and not get ourselves into a corner like we did on Sat.
    So no complacency and I am sure management and players don’t need to be told that. Even the performance against Derry I don’t think it a case of complacency. Our biggest failing on the night, when all the analysis is said and done, was woeful shooting and scores from play are way too scarce. Yes we have a few defensive weaknesses but really what we need most of all is to get the radar working.
    We will best Clare in the possession and scoring chances stats – would be very surprised if we don’t. But to beat them comprehensibly on the scoreboard we need to up the conversion of the scoring chances big time. Any time we do that no-one can live with us
    Yes we can !

  72. I just cannot see us losing to Clare. The only reason Derry got to within a kick of beating us on Saturday is because we were piss-poor in taking our shots. We nearly beat ourselves. Play at the level we are capable of and Clare won’t be able to live with us. Yes they should be respected and we cannot take anything for granted but Mayo all the way for me. Talk about previous away qualifiers is completely redundant.

    I will agree though that a better selection is needed. Start with scoring forwards and leave the half-backs where they belong. We visibly wilted every time a back or a midfielder took on a shot and missed. Keep up with the improvement in our kick-outs and in gathering possession. It was heartening to see us claim more marks on Saturday than we have done all year.

    We should be confident going into this match and lets face it, the lack of confidence is what nearly killed us on Saturday.

  73. Ah lads get a grip. Clare improving I agree but very little experience in tough championship knockout football. We will need to be tuned in to be fair and if we are our physicality and a little bit better in our shooting I expect us to win it by 5 points minimum. I also expect more game time for loftus and might be no harm to give Evan Regan a run if all going well to get his confidence back up??

  74. Everyone knows that this team has been on a slow decline since its peak of 2013/2014, saying it constantly on an anonymous supporters blog doesn’t make you a genius GAA analysist. The vast, vast majority of posters here are fairly balanced and post after every game, win or lose. There are a certain few who only appear after loses and in the beginning I thought they must be trolls from other counties, however the reality is much sadder, they’re Mayo people. I’ve had some of the best days of my life supporting this team and to be honest I’m not yet ready to throw them under the bus.

  75. JC, will have to disagree with you there. Mayo have put in two dreadful performances infront of goal. Loftus will be playing with confidence, alot more confidence than the other forwards have shown in front of goal. If he is good enough to play some part then he is good enough to start. How many times do we need to witness an episode of Mayo wasting chance after chance, going into a frantic last 10mins with the game decided by a pt either way, do we wait for another glorious defeat in Croke Park then the annual call for “young players to be blooded in the league” or take the necessary steps required. Now is the time to make the required changes in the forwards while there are games ahead before big tests in Croke Park. Form players playing with confidence need to be starting. I would have Loftus on ahead of Andy, imo he has lost that pace needed over the first 10 yards, if the ball isnt top quality right in to him then chances are he will struggle to get there. Andy much more suited at this stage to coming on with 20 to go when the game opens up and defences begin to tire.

  76. Might not be a bad thing to get away from Mchale Park. Some of our best performances recently were away. (kerry and Tyrone). While we have been fairly shite in Mchale.

    Meath away. A lot of history these last 20 years. Most of it bad.

    Also glad to avoid what surely would have been a dirty war of attrition v “The Hills”. Christ they were 0-3 to 0-4 down at home to Longford at half time on Saturday.

    So Clare it is. Conor Loftus returning to the scene of his greatest hour where he burst the net twice with unstoppable shots in the biggest game of his life. Only person who can stop him now is Rochford by not picking him. Yeah, i wouldn’t rule out seeing a defender starting up front hitting “hit and hope” wides while Loftus who shoots with conviction watches on from the bench until the 68th minute.

  77. mayomad -I agree with what you say – get young players in while confident etc. but – just concerned that after Saturday’s brilliance too much will be expected of him and it’s a balance between playing him while he is confident but also not putting all expectations on him.

  78. Our highest % shooters from play this season are Andy, Loftus, Kirby and JDoc.
    It won’t happen but I would be interested in the scoring return if all four were starting.

  79. AOS and Loftus getting most of the plaudits after Saturday, and understandably, however for me, despite what some are saying, COC really puts his shoulder to the wheel and is a great leader, giving 110% every time, we would be goosed without him. Maybe not the most natural point taker and maybe not the fastest, but maximises everything he has and never shirks responsibility. The one Mayo player that has that bit of cuteness when needed. To score 12 points and not come near MOTM says something too!

  80. We seen how sharp, slick and fast the Kerry forwards were yesterday, so if we can’t cope with the fast and slick Clare forwards then there is no way that we’d be able to cope with Paul Geaney and James O’Donoghue etc. We know how good David Moran and Anthony Maher are, so again if we can’t cope with Gary Brennan and Tubridy, the Clare midfielders, we’d really struggle against Kerry. That is where we are at. It should be a very good test to see where we are at.

  81. If I were Rochford my plan would be to keep Andy on the bench until roughly the 45/50th minute. His energy and positivity would be a real asset at that point of the match


    Go for the jugular early and start him, doherty, Cillian, Diarmuid, Loftus and Kevin as the starting 6 with the latter to drop back as a sweeper. Kirby on form should be first forward sub.

    Keith as wing back, not in the corner.

    The Mayo players and management have plenty to prove heading into this game into the weekend. It’s a good challenge for them.

    Gamechanger10, thank you. Clare are a good team. Potentially dangerous. If Mayo don’t perform then Ennis might not be our favorite away ground anymore!!

  82. KL – Are you serious? He was poor enough. No Pace, no trickery. Missed a few frees, missed easy point attempts. A shadow of the player from 3/4 years ago

  83. Tipper – spot on. He scored 12 points but how many from play?

    His attitude is always superb but Saturday was poor by his standards.

  84. Tipper, we would be going nowhere without Cillian, as last year’s league proved. He’s a leader within the squad and the only one who can kick a free. He was involved in plenty of attacking moves yesterday and set up Loftus for the goal.

  85. Funny, there was me thinking points from frees counted the same as ones from play. Rob Carroll’s analysis of Cillian O’Connor’s score taking is, I think, relevant in this respect. It’s here.

  86. Is that Mayo fans or the team your’re not going to throw under the bus just yet Liam? 🙂

  87. no doubting his scoring ability (does have the benefit of playing championship matches against London / Sligo etc ) – but in context I don’t think Saturday was a man of the match performance as suggested.

  88. Once we avoided Ballybofey it’s not too bad. We’ve also avoided Donegal unless they get to semi.

    Clare then Ros/Cork is a reasonable path to the quarter if we start performing.

    Some serious work on shooting needs to be done though and also on approach to taking shots. Hit them with conviction and if they go over they go over. some lads look to be afraid to fail when they’re shooting. They need to just go for it when in good shooting position

  89. WJ any idea when we can expect times and date for that match is ennis,?
    is it set is stone to be saturday evening ?

  90. I’ve heard cillian be downgraded as ” it’s only frees” and other such talk but when loftus was racing through on Saturday after dpotting that long pass going in who was it that spotted him and gave the perfect pass for the goal? Cillian.
    Mayo fans have a habit of negative talk about the quality of our better players and I don’t know why. Aos was battered and dragged on Saturday andjust kept going regardless, yet he will be cut to pieces by a section of Mayo fans, they just hate to see anyone trying to better themselves it would seem.
    I’d hate to see what they’d say if cillian and aos walked away, then they’d have something to bitch about.

  91. Wow, I’ve seen it all, Cillian getting fucked under the bus now.
    We kept the best forwards in the country scoreless for 25 minutes in the drawn All Ireland last year with Kevin Mc playing sweeper, why have we abandoned that system, Boyler is not a sweeper?
    We’ve gone from having the highest scoring half back line in the country as well as a scoring half forward line to having two shooters, Cillian and Andy.
    All logic points to Loftus starting next Saturday. If players don’t have the genuine belief that they can put in an impressive display and force their way into the squad then we’re at nothing. He’s a genuine goal poacher and will be brimming with confidence.

  92. Thinking a little ahead (yes i know one game at a time) if Mayo win and draw Cork in round 4 and win that to and Ros beat Meath or Donegal then who plays Galway in the last 8 a open draw?

  93. Jennifer – I’d say details will be confirmed inside the hour or so. I’m expecting it to be Saturday evening but that’s just on the basis of past experience.

  94. OMG people having a pop at Cillian O’Connor! He can give it and take it, he can score and lead the line. Two fellas hanging of him Saturday and he still catches the ball with one hand. Who set up Loftus on Saturday? Who scored the equaliser against Dublin? Is the Pope catholic?

  95. Aidan O’Shea might be the star of the team but Cillian is our key man. Without him we are goosed, plain and simple

  96. Again – regarding Cillian, the comment was that it wasn’t man of the match performance, just because he got 12 pointS.

    Not questioning his impressive scoring, effort, quality or anything else he has given to Mayo over the years.

    But – think you have to consider that although Loftus totalled one third of the amount Cillain contributed, it was the quality, bravery timing etc of his scores that make him more suitable for man of match or the performance of AOS, winig possession and contributing to earning so many free’s that Cillian was able to score from.
    Cillian’s link up to Loftus for goal was excellent.

  97. Wouldn’t throw the team under the bus but definitely tempted to throw a few so called fans. Tipper dug up the most negative scoring stat he or she could possibly find in comparison to Kerry and put it out there. We scored frees cause the other team were fouling us because they couldn’t stop us legitimately. Yes our shooting was well off but we have a chance to put that right the next day. Whelan said on RTE the first round of qualifiers is often the worst for teams. Back on the horse now let’s get going. Uber negative posters get off the Mayo bus. Support our team with positivity otherwise why support at all.

  98. Willie joe they are very interesting stats indeed. I am surprised. I think that it highlights though just how reliant on frees Mayo are compared to other teams as we know COC got just 9 or 10 pts from play over 8 or 9 championship matches last year. So the free count is quite remarkable. Even 9 frees the other evening (with some missed) highlights that Mayo are really good at inviting fouling. I’m not suggesting they are not legitimate- they are. Question arises though what if u get a more disciplined opposition? Would Mayo just score more from play? Love to know what percentage of fouls scores were for tackles on Aidan o shea or the rampaging half backs – need to keep that approach up.

    By comparison I think mayos backs are the most disciplined and best defenders bar none in the country:

  99. Some clowns ? on here having a go at o Connor.he is a class act a natural born leader.the amount of work he puts in is savage to say the least! Good job aos had a good game or the same people be on his back to!
    As for the game v Derry job done just about.we were very wasteful with our shooting and that needs to improve.
    We very loose down the middle of pitch and teams are exploiting us there by running direct down the middle!
    I would like to see mcloughlin revert to sweeper and Doherty and Loftus to start.hopefully keegan and Harrison be fit to play!

  100. Meath and Donegal are on in Navan at 6pm on Saturday. No word yet for us.

  101. Aidan – have a read through any post I make here and you will see me defending AOS before Saturday and every time he gets grief.

    Similarly, if you read the comments regarding Cillian, it relates to a suggestion that he should have been man of the match.

    If you read comments I made about him (effort, commitment, quality of scoring, brilliant set up for goal on Saturday etc.)

  102. I think we would, Cantini, which is why I’d like to see us run more at pace in the final third. Either we draw a foul there or there’s a good chance at getting a score, preferably a simple handpassed one like Kerry repeatedly got with ease yesterday. I think someone else quoted the stat that five of Cillian’s pointed frees on Saturday came from fouls on Aidan.

  103. Saturday evening in Ennis, throw in at 5pm. Got this from the GAA website so I’d go with that.

  104. I love the way people keep saying we`ll be fine once we improve our shooting !
    Hasn`t this been our bloody problem for donkey`s years now and I don`t see any evidence that there is significant improvement likely in this area.

    Lets stop talking about Dublin and Kerry as if the three of us were joined at the hip.
    The main difference is that Dublin and Kerry regularly win All Irelands, whereas we don`t.

  105. Loftus was superb when he came on at the weekend, but it was made for him. Derry were clearly wilting and were just too tired to deal with him. To be honest I’d do the exact same thing again, only perhaps releasing him a bit earlier.

  106. Supporters deserve massive credit for there input on Saturday. Excellent atmosphere before and during 1st period of extra time. Really enjoying the long and soon to be scenic route! Regarding hotels, has anyone any recommendations, thinking of making a weekend of it!!!

  107. Re
    Harrison, Caff, Higgins
    Barrett, Keegan, Boyle
    AOS, Parsons
    KMc, DOC, Boland
    Loftus, COC, Doherty

    Would prefer Higgins at wing back and Barrett corner back, also swap Boyle to 6 and Keegan wing to raid forward. Danny Kirby instead of Boland.

  108. @ AMcL, from what I can gather, Ennis is booked out for Saturday. Heard of a few people looking but having no luck.

  109. Those stats are very misleading. when you take out frees what do the stats look like then? O’connor does provide great leadership, scores the frees, and provide assists but there was more to his game than that. Pre 2015 he was a far better player. He could score regurlarly from play, he was alot more mobile. Just saying.

  110. Clare lads are like haystack, very tall in midfield and forwards, caff will have to leave the goalmouth to Clarke, love the venue, happy memories from there, looking forward to it love the interview tom parsons gave after match, slow and deliberate ” , u put the ball wide u go back win the ball and do it again ” nobody promised us easy maigheo

  111. @observer2 nice dose of reality there, needed.
    I have to agree also with Rock, keep Loftus in reserve and bring him on firing on all cylinders.
    But we need a patch up then middle of defence. Carved open too easily v Derry. MCLoughlin as sweeper might help

  112. Why are the stats misleading Tipper? And why should you need to take out frees when looking at the stats? As I pointed out earlier, scores from frees count just as much as ones from play. Sure, we’d all like to see Cillian score more from play – and he missed a few chances on Saturday – but the bulk of his scores, hugely valuable all, have tended to come from placed balls. To be honest, I’m not sure the pre-2015 Cillian you’re claiming existed ever did.

  113. if you think you can do better than cillian o connor I’ll gladly drive you to ennis on saturday and buy a pair of boots for you as well. Jesus, its so annoying seeing people try to pull down an amateur athlete thats doing his best to win something for his county. Talk about ungrateful.

  114. dave – Once again if you read the posts I don’t think anyone has either …

    a) suggested they can do better


    b) tried to pull down an amateur athlete.

    The comments both myself and Tipper made were regarding comment that him being man of the match on Saturday. I think suggesting that it wasn’t a man of the match performance (even if he got 12 points) is fair enough and I think it is also fair to highlight the majority of them were kickable free’s.

  115. We have our game now we have to get on with the task ahead and support the lads, don’t forget we are going into this game without the player of the year,Lee,(hope I am wrong)it’s an ankle injury,and of course the great Durcan will miss out as well, this is the price we paid for extra time sat last,two fine player?s ,now the management will really have to get the finger out and sort it out,but with a bit of luck and we have to play to our best to get out of this one Hon Mayo.

  116. No too many players from Mayo over the last 30 years could have kicked that equaliser in the final. That was an astounding score, from play.

    I believe it’s his temperament as much as anything that sets him apart. He wants the responsibility, he goes looking for it, a little too much sometimes. He reminds me of O’Gara who stated a few years back that he absolutely wanted that pressure.

    He might not be prolific from play but I don’t think that’s down to a lack of proficiency. He needs movement around him. His take and pass to Loftus for the goal on Sunday is clear evidence that if we get runners around him, he’s well able to provide and score himself.

    Genuinely wouldn’t swap him.

  117. ROCK – I totally agree – his temperament is superb and has stood up with great courage over the years when needed (i.e his penalty against the Dubs).

    I also agree that he needs more movement around him and as I have already said, his pass to Loftus was excellent.

    He would greatly benefit from a few around him stepping up with score as often it’s all on him.

    Once again – I was only making the point (which surely others would agree) that it was not a man of match performance on Saturday.

    Mayo very fortunate to have him and yes, will be sorely missed when retires.

  118. Cillian might not be fast but he is a smart mover. He usually has 1 or 2 from play and of course does well on the frees. Then he sets up a fair amount of goal chances and the odd penalty. Gets the odd goal now and then. So when you stack it all up including his passing and finally he is a very good tackler. He is there with Leeroy and Aidan as our three most important outfield players.
    Is it fair to say on reflection that this team has needed the qualifier route as we need the games?
    – We didn’t have our team injury free during the league
    – We always suffer early season with the squad split Mayo – Dublin.
    We need games for Aidan and Tom Parsons as a partnership. We need games for Brendan Harrison and tightening up our defence generally. Newer lads like Conor Loftus who could do with more games before any potential quarter final.

  119. Two reasons Willie Joe: 1) Beacuse you are comparing with lads who don’t take frees.the likes of Paul Geaney who scored 1-4 from play yesterday, Paul Mannion who scored 0-8 last week all from play. We have nobody who can do that. 2) Plus we get a higher percentage of our scores from frees because of inability to score from play.

  120. If Dean Rock scored 12 points in any game, frees or no frees, it would be headline news on 6.1.

    Cillian kicked 12 points… on a bad day!!

  121. Dean Rock scoring record
    Leinster semi-final v Meath: 0-10 (0-9f)
    Leinster quarter-final v Laois: 1-10 (0-6f)
    Division 1 league final v Kerry: 0-5 (0-3f, 0-1 pen)
    Division 1 league semi-final v Donegal: 0-5 (0-3f, 0-1 ’45)

  122. Christ on a bike lads and lassies there’s some mad stuff appearing here on Cillian O’Connor. 12 points he only scored. The value of AOS and COC is beyond question. AOS wins so many frees (apart from anything else he does)and COC pops them over. Every game. We now take it for granted we have a top free taker. Wasn’t always the case and i’m sure there are many on here who moaned back in the pre-Cillian days.

    I was in Croke Park yesterday to see Galway win the ‘Leinster’ hurling championship. It was amazing and unbelievable how many punters were questioning Joe Canning in the same way. He wasn’t doing enough. He wasn’t at his best … he wasn’t scoring from play ..blah .. blah. He only scored 10 points for god sake !!! And some spectacular ones!

    Cillain O’Connor and Joe Canning – respective teams are lucky to have them. Ask any team manager.

  123. Don’t feed the trolls WJ. Aiden had a stormer the last day so the barstool critics have decided that Cillian is the new player to come under their all knowing analysis. These purists have now deemed that some points are more valuable than others, just like they decided doing a tv program was heresy. Always amazes me that they can find the smallest, most obscure fault in a player but never seem to call out the glaring problems that exist all around them. Is our clear lack of a playing style and refusal to place K McLoughlin back playing sweeper not a far more pressing issue? We identified that an exposed full back line had cost us numerous big games, took successful measures to remedy this and then abandoned those measures once again.

  124. Okay, Tipper, I’m clearly not getting through to you. Points by lads from frees count the same as points by lads from play. Just as well we get so many frees then, given the claimed inability to score from play. Otherwise we’d never win a match at all at all!

  125. 12 points scored – but from how many attempts? I reckon on or near 20. A 60% conversion rate doesn’t sound so hot. I think last year he was mid to high 80’s in terms of deadball conversion, second only to Rock.

    It suggests a (rather severe) dip in form, albeit from a single game sample size.

    That Don’t Foul chap I’m sure could shed some light on this. His blog posts are always worth a read.

  126. Liam – where has cillian been criticised apart from going back to first comments made where myself and tipper didn’t agree he was man of match on Saturday. Do you think he was motm on Saturday?

  127. You’re not getting my point either with regard to the bullshit stats you provided. I think we have to agree to disagree.

  128. They weren’t my stats Tipper and mind your tongue when you’re speaking in someone else’s gaff. And the next time you find a match where pointed frees count for less than points from play, you might let me know.

  129. I’m not going to labour the point as the blogger is always right so i bow to your Superior wisdom.

  130. Cut the sarcasm too, Tipper – if you’re not up to reasoned debate, that’s your problem. I claim no superior wisdom but where I’m coming from your arguments make no sense. If they did we’d have to be getting way more frees than other teams as otherwise we’d never be winning any matches at all. This clearly isn’t the case. Anyway, as you say, better agree to disagree as this is obviously a debate that’s going nowhere sensible fast.

  131. Apologies for the sarcasm and the language. You are not getting my point either.
    My main point is this and i work in the data analysis sector so i know what i am talking about here. The stats that you introduced to the debate is comparing point scoring between players in GAA games. However it is comparing COC against players who don’t take frees, penalties. COC is an excellent exponent at free kicks and probably the best pen taker in GAA. However you cannot from a data and statistical viewpoint compare COC scoring averages with a fella who doesn’t take frees because those non free takers don’t get the chance to pop over handy frees from in front of the posts like COC. If Pual Mannion took the Dublin frees last weekend he would have scored considerably more than the 8 points from play.
    Thats the point i’m making and i will leave it there.

  132. Fair enough but I still don’t think it’s a valid point (pardon the pun). Simply because all scores count in Gaelic football and Cillian’s accuracy – the last day excepted (much of this year too, come to think of it, though less so than the last day) – has been off the scale compared to others, with only Dean Rock in the last two years coming close. That graph compared Cillian with all comers, those who take frees and penalties and those who don’t, and the graph demonstrates the point that he’s an outlier compared to everyone else in the game in his career to date.

  133. Never seen mannion getting two hat tricks in a game and a half of football.
    Or did any forward ever do it in the history of the championship?

  134. 14allnall41 – again have you read the posts or just see COC mentioned and assume people are criticising? The comments began with suggestion he was man of match on Saturday. Do you think he was?

    No-one is doubting he is great for mayo and true professional. It looks like all people here base forwards on though is statistics, anyone should know there is more to sport than that . Do we not consider opposition? I.e hat trick v London? Or simple free’s ? Or timing of the scores? Or ability to create something out of nothing?

  135. JC not in the mood. ie enough to worry about than how good you think of his performance.

  136. I watched the Derry game again on Player and Mayo certainly were poor. A major improvement will be needed to beat Clare – or anyone. We could not feel confident on Saturdays performance. I think, todate, we are a pale shadow of Mayo 216. However, I know we will improve because Mayo never produced such courageous players, in all my 50 plus years supporting them, as this group.
    Even though we conceded the late goal in ord. time, our defence as much better in the second half and extra time. To my mind this as because K. McL played in defence, mainly, after half time. I hope Rochford continues with him back there from now on.

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