No teams news ahead of tomorrow night

It’s less than thirty hours to throw-in at McHale Park tomorrow night but there’s no sign as yet of either team being named for the Division One clash between our lads and Kildare. @MayoGAA confirmed this morning that it’ll be “late tonight” when we finally reveal our starting line-up but I’ve no idea when the Lilies will name theirs. It may be as well, then, to bring a pen with you to McHale Park as there are likely to be a fair few changes prior to throw-in to the teams listed in the match programme.

Shorn of team personnel to talk about, there isn’t a huge amount to say about this first competitive meeting with the Short Grass County since we clashed in a Division One match at Newbridge five years ago. I was at that one, which we won handy enough, and looking at the line-up that day there aren’t too many of the players involved for us then who are still on the panel now. David Clarke, Tom Cunniffe, Colm Boyle, Keith Higgins, Alan Dillon and Andy Moran all started for us in that game with Barry Moran coming on as a late sub.

That’s all ancient history, of course, with the thumping goal scored by Tom Parsons and the late penalty for them converted by Johnny Doyle that day having no bearing at all on tomorrow night’s contest. Of more relevance to the upcoming clash is, however, the analysis penned following last weekend’s action.

In the Mayo News, Edwin McGreal has a great overview piece where he correctly points out that last Saturday night was the third match in a row where we failed to deal with the style of play the opposition imposed on us while Sean Rice concentrates in his weekly column on how the lads performed individually. Sean concludes with the pertinent point that “Mayo will not be taken seriously until they learn how to win, how to counter the stratagems of the opposition” and he references some of the Down play-acting (in particular standing too close to the freetaker) in support of this point. He’s right and it’s a point I want to come back to at some stage (if I ever get the time, which doesn’t look likely at this stage).

Most of you will probably have seen the more upbeat assessment from An Spailpín but if you haven’t it’s worth a look – here. An Spailpín is a man whose views I’d have the greatest respect for and he tends to be right about Mayo far more often than he’s wrong so I’m hoping this proves to be the case on this occasion. I’m normally happy to reside in the glass-half-full camp myself but my fear about this league campaign is that we won’t get the win we need from either Donegal or Cork (and that, by the way, assumes we’ll definitely win tomorrow night, which is an assumption in itself) and that the bitter taste of league relegation will carry over into the championship. In that regard, I’m not sure we really are doing just fine, though I accept that two wins out of our last three league matches would negate any claim that we’re not.

Just in case you think we’re the only ones grinding our teeth at the minute, it’s worth casting your eyes over this piece in the Kildare Nationalist written in the aftermath of that whipping the Dubs gave the Lilies last Sunday. They’re not in a happy place either right now – mind you, though, unlike us they’re guaranteed to be playing Division One football next year – and will come to Castlebar a wounded outfit. RTÉ, in their match preview, reckon that the visitors could bounce back from that Croke Park scalding with a win but Paddy Power have us as firm 8/13 favourites to prevail.

The ref, by the way, for tomorrow night’s fixture is Fermanagh’s Martin Higgins whom I don’t think we’ve ever encountered before for a competitive fixture at senior level.

I won’t be travelling west for this one, as we have other plans for the Bank Holiday weekend, and so I’m likely to be following it on the radio. Hopefully what I’ll be missing out on is a performance that finally gets us going in 2013. If ever there were a must-win game in the league, then this surely is it: are we really going to let a team like Kildare – all beefy, athletic huffing and puffing but bugger all else – come to our place and relegate us? Last year we faced a similar test when the far more formidable challenge of beating then All-Ireland champions Dublin was required at a time when our Division One status was in doubt. Now it’s even more in doubt and we simply have to start banishing this sense of diffidence with a coherent and confident display tomorrow night.

17 thoughts on “No teams news ahead of tomorrow night

  1. Time obviously goes quicker above in Dublin than down this side of the country ! Looking forward to the match tomorrow, hoping to be there.

    I hope I’m wrong, but another defeat might tell us a lot about our prospects for the year. I agree that the focus should be on 19th May against Galway (btw, is that match scheduled for Tuam or Salthill?), but winning is a habit and I think three good performances against Kildare, Donegal and Cork would set us up nicely for the summer.

    Mayo hurlers are up first at 5.15pm against Armagh, so hopefully the football game afterwards might attract a few more bums on seats for our stick-wielding brethren this week.

  2. I’ve a feeling we could well see Barry Moran at the edge of the square tomorrow night. Ball doesn’t appear to be sticking in the inside line and Barry may well be able to a serious job in there for us.

    Of course it would weaken our midfield configuration somewhat but we do have resources in that area….

  3. Well, it’s do-or-die time for sure as regards the League anyway. The last three games have made for depressing viewing – the only bright light being that the team never, ever gave up. While that’s there there’s hope.

    But it’s time for a win now – past time. Despite the overall irrelevance of the League come the summer, it is not in Mayo’s interest in any way to be playing Division 2 football next February.

    The lack of a big man in the FF line becomes more painfully obvious with every outing. Sure, Conroy, Doherty, Varley etc. are trying their best, and you’d expect no less – but when a team seals up the supply like Down did with their sweeper the last night, Mayo need a go-to man to launch high ball into who will just win it and lay it off.

    Barry Moran was tried in there in the Johnno days. It didn’t work out. He pushed himself on notably in 2012 and is a better footballer now. Maybe it’s time to give it another shot. Gibbons, Seamus O’Shea and Danny Geraghty are all decent foils for Aidan in midfield. Let’s see if James Horan agrees.

    As has been stated by some astute posters here, Mayo are in bad need of a goal. If it came tomorrow night it could open the floodgates. But Kildare are no mugs, despite the terrible trimming they got on Sunday. Their pride is hurt and they’ll be dishing out the skelps. Time for Mayo to toughen up, meet fire with fire and pull out the win.

  4. Its tough to call in a way,if we can limit the high ball into O Connor and maybe hit the back of the net ,then I think we can win comfortably.

    A couple of ifs in that prediction but I do feel there is a big game in Mayo tmrw night.We haven’t had much luck in the last three games and we seem to play excellent for only a ten to fifteen min spell,if we could just make it last a little longer and obviously be more clinical,it would be enough for what we need to do for this game.

    Some people don’t seem to not be over pleased with our ff line.Patience is what’s needed amongst supporters ,I’m the first to slate them for not hitting the net but they have showed well overall .It is the most improved area since sept. Conroy and Doc have done really well,Varley had an off day. I thought the ball into Conroy v dubs was good,out wide he collected a lot.

    Add in Andy to it and it could work out mighty come championship and Cillian ,it could become a real fight for places on the ff line and a place of strength not weakness.

  5. Cannot under stand why horan has to wait late on friday nites to name the team as per usual and it actually might work to the lads advantage tha,s starting on the team to know before thursday,s training…we are were we are but i,d put most of the blame on management so far in this league and if we dont win tomorrow nite i think its curtains for us and div. 2 next year and that will be a massive massive backwards step for this team, regardless of what we do in the chapionship…..i,m not comfident at all afta watch,n them 3 times so far and some were, some how, we need a win tomorrow nite….call me negative but i dont see any improvement at all on last year…here,s hopeing i,m wrong……… c,mon mayo…..

  6. I dont know why people are talking about barry moran at ff? He is a natural midfielder and sos or geraghty do not have the footballing brain and distribution that he has so I would say leave him there at midfield. I hope tom cunniffe can nail a 6 spot as donie does not do it for me based on his last few league and championship performances. Our forwards really need to be on form for this one. Must win game

  7. Johno, the players could be aware of team selection before joe public for all we know.

  8. Pk when has TC shown he has what it takes at chb……..also Geraghty is worth a look there-his tradional position.

  9. Hey PK I think most people think Barry Moran is worth a try a fullforward to give us another ball winning option should Andy get injured again. No one is suggesting he should be taken from midfield altogether but he could be a good plan B as he has shown good signs the odd time he has played on the edge of the square. He is less flat footed under the high ball the say A O’ Shea and S O’ Shea and Gibbons are good options for midfield so why not test thos theroy out in the league?Also his quick fire distribution is top notch having developed from his basketball days.
    I’d like to see Cuniffe at wing back maybe with Keegan at 6 as Tom already got a run there against Kerry. Geraghty is also another good option for CHB so hopefully he might get a run there in the next 3 games.Personally I would be happy if all three got a chance to nail down the CHB spot.

  10. Well I think tom has more to offer at chb. Donie is more concerned at running up and down the pitch and does not hold the middle, get tight on his man or act on breaks quick enough. At least tom stays tighter. Our best chb of late was howley and im afraid he is in oz

  11. lads we should have learned from our past mistakes. midfielders do not make Full Fowards. The great Liam McHale was wasted in that position on too many occasions
    WE SHOULD TRY SOME OF THE FF WHO PLAY IN THIS POSITION FOR THEIR CLUBS

  12. Yes three point win 3-7 to 0-13 as they say goals wins games. It’s time the senior scored a few goals maybe tomorrow night?

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