Rising Rossies up next

Mayo Ros parade 2013

I’m a bit (more than a bit, in fact) out of the loop at present and will be until shortly before our clash with Roscommon but, even though it’s one of the last things on my mind at the minute, I know that time is ticking on and I see that they’ve already named their team for Sunday (full details here).

The game (which has a later throw-in time of 3.30pm) is being shown live on TG4 but I doubt that’ll knock too much of a dent in what should be a bumper Easter Sunday attendance at Hyde Park. The match will be reffed by Maurice Deegan.

Roscommon have been regular January opponents for us – and we haven’t beaten them in the FBD since 2012: we drew in 2013 and they’ve beaten us in each of the three meetings we’ve had since then – but you have to go back all the way to 2001 for our last League meeting.

That was at the semi-final stage when we won out on a scoreline of 0-16 to 1-12, on our way to claiming our 11th NFL title. The Rossies had the last laugh on us that year, though, with their last minute smash-and-grab Connacht final win over us at Hyde Park. That win was also their most recent success over us in a competitive fixture.

Will that run end on Sunday? Time for a vote on it.

How will we do against Roscommon?

  • Win (58%, 268 Votes)
  • Lose (37%, 168 Votes)
  • Draw (5%, 23 Votes)

Total Voters: 459

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122 thoughts on “Rising Rossies up next

  1. The last Mayo v Roscommon “competitive” game was two years ago in Hyde park 1-9 to 0-13 it finished and Mayo players and supporters were more than happy to leave the Hyde that day with a one point win when it looked like for long stages that Roscommon would win.

    From that day two years ago Roscommon only have 6 of the same starters by my count. S McDermott,N Collins,N Daly,S Kilbride,C Cregg,C Murtagh. Thats big changes to their starting 15 in a short space of time.

  2. Does anyone know is Adam Gallagher involved in the Mayo U 21 panel at the moment I know he was injured. From what I remember he was a promising forward and could knock over frees

  3. Is Darren Coen in the panel at the moment? He was in great form for hollymount earlier in the year

  4. Is Darren Coen in the senior panel now? I was expecting him to be involved straight after his club final with Hollymount was finished.

  5. Coen is not on the current senior panel. Was the squad trimmed? I heard 6/7 fringe players were let go…?

  6. I genuinely do fancy us for this one. We’ve had two weeks off since the Kerry disappointment and Cork game aside we have shown some positive stuff, even if it isn’t reflected in the table. If we don’t have a ginormous kick in us Sunday then there’s something very wrong

    While the Rossies will no doubt love to relegate us, we should really subconsciously have the more hunger here, given our respective predicaments, and even getting to a few crucial balls first can end up deciding outcomes like this

    It’s a big feature of the league year after year where a team who are in relegation trouble (Kerry a lot of the time!!) beat a ‘safe’ team late on due to being more up for it, so to speak, and I do think we’ll see this one through

    Saying that I’ve been pleasantly surprised by Ros so far and fair play to them. I’d hope we’ll be a completely different animal on Sunday to anything they’ve faced so far however and think we will be.

  7. We need to be winning this 1 sunday to put down a marker for prob our conn final oppenents later in july, also we need these 2 wins to gurantee 1 div football next season and vital that we have that and not go down a division…..dont want to hear about tyrone and dunnys goin down and coming back up, rather remind you whats happened galway , meath and kildare………..we need a big performance on sunday and i think we,ll get it , mayo by 3………….

  8. Ciaran,

    Roscommon cannot relegate us on Sunday unless Monaghan get a result against Kerry. Monaghan then play Donegal [both games are in Clones] while we play Down. Assuming we beat Down, unless Monaghan get something from Donegal we will survive on the head to head result. Of course if there is a third team on four points it will depend on score difference.

  9. I was looking at your results archive earlier WJ, great resource by the way, and I thought our 2013 league was very interesting considering our current situation.

    We won our first game at home to Kerry and then went and lost the next 4 on the bounce! Admittedly there was no hammering like the Cork fixture this year. But we needed to win our last two to have any chance of staying up, firstly at home to Donegal where we showed great desire I remember and then away to Cork where Cillian scored a late sideline to keep us up. Some how 6 points got us a semi final place that year! Anyway, I just thought it was interesting given how brilliant the team went on to be hat summer. More of the same this year hopefully.

  10. This game has a uniqueness about it that should pack Hyde Park in Spring. There never have been relative circumstances to compare with those that ll pertain on Sunday. A glance at the Ros team may have many wondering what all the hullaballoo is about and how can these names hold any fear for the tried and tested ambassadors from Mayo?

    Many will have heard something or seen something but all of that will be relegated to the back of the brain till the business is properly sorted out on the stubbly surface of Hyde Park.Its what makes the game so intriguing …is there to be a redrawing of relations between these great foes or will the masters of the last couple or years be in a position to stamp their authority on the day?
    I have to think that it’s a must win for us…not so much to help towards staying up but the result will have major consequences for later on….and we don’t have all the time in the world as we felt we had a few years ago.
    I’m looking forward to a game that could well be one of the games of the year for us!
    Let’s all be there in good time and safe journeys to all !

  11. Smallish Ros midfield 6’1 and 6’3 should push up on their knockouts and force them to kick long.

    play Seamus/Parsons/Barry across the middle of the park on our kick outs also and kick long to them

  12. Calm it down there a bit lads please. Its another league game. For both teams the only strategic concern for both teams is that we might meet again later this year in the Championship. But on the other hand we might not. In 2015 we were expecting the big yellow bus to come around the corner, but it was otherwise employed. I agree that this is an important championship game given we are waiting 16 years for them to beat us but 16 years is a long wait.
    Where is the great rivalry between the 2 counties over the last few years. I cannot remember any of these encounters unless you are referring to the FDB games. The real rivalry over the last few years has been between ourselves, Dublin, Donegal and Kerry. The last time we met Roscommon in a final was back in 2011, We have played Sligo twice since then.

  13. Its amazing how quickly these games go by, it only seems like a few short weeks ago since our first FBD league match, now we only have two more serious tests before the London match! From that point of view you would like to see us gain a bit of momentum for the summer ahead. Its actually very hard to say where we are at, at the moment. With so many players missing, injured etc. it has been very hard to get any consistency in our performances. We’ll see how it goes anyway, its a long year yet, we hope. It would be great to finish with two wins….

  14. It’s been a killer losing those league games and now hoping that we can beat Roscommon and down!! A loss on Sunday will probably finish us in division 1 and god knows what else it might start, so for that reason I will back Mayo to win a tight one this Sunday. We simply have to win regardless of who’s missing or injured, just like Kerry and Dublin do , no excuses.

    Mayo. 2-10
    Roscommon 1-12

    Let’s see how spectacularly wrong I am.

  15. Calm it down a bit says pj , you might see how them words fit into the game on Sunday. and get back to me . Massive game , people denying it are just nervous because of what it means and that’s to both sets of supporters , one set know a loss is relegation and serious doubts creep in ” is it the end of the road “‘etc the other set are giddy as hell but a batin from Mayo and they will start to doubt their boys have become men yet. Where as I would agree lots of time to dust ourselves down from a defeat till June and July but it still points to a heated battle on Sunday, as near championship intensity as you’ll ever get in a league game I reckon.

  16. When will the Mayo team be announced?
    I`m taking Mayo to win by 4 points on Sunday on a scoreline of 1-14 to 0-13, with Jason Doherty scoring the goal and each team finishing up with 14 men.

  17. Observer 2:
    I love that kind of clear brave statement. You re a real Mayoman! I’m adding an extra point to the 1-14 if you don’t mind! Cheers,!!

  18. To progress in Championship football you need to develop your team in the league and be as competitive as possible in the league. In fairness both Mayo and Roscommon have been experimental and competitive with the margins between winning and losing (in most games) at this level been very small. The Ros have come out the right side of these results so far in this league and I expect they will try and continue that trend by whatever means possible agains us. So I don’t believe McStay will hold anything back in the way of set up, tactics, style of play, etc., that would be any different from what he would deploy in the summer. So while we may be under pressure to get points to continue our long standing top flight record I believe there is also great pressure on Roscommon to try and send out a message that they are and will continue to be competitive and that games like that against Sligo are consigned to the past. So yeah.. this is an important game alright

  19. I would like to see Clarke get a chance in goal , he is more solid and reliable

    Looking forward to getting a look at Patrick durcan again

  20. I do believe Mayo will win on Sunday, however win or loose it will have no bearing on the Championship. A previous poster brought up 2013, we were hopless in the league it took a miracle pt from Cillian to stay up. We then went on to play the best football a Mayo team has ever played in the Championship.

    Lots of praise for Ros on here and some of it is due as they are playing well but for me they are still ranked third in Connacht. Come the Championship Galway are our main threat for Connacht not Ros. Galway are way too quiet, just ticking over now till the summer. Believe me its Galway Mayo should be thinking of for the Championship not the Ros.

  21. Time to decide on Forwards Strategy, this nonsense of not having one Forward on the pitch that can take a free unless it’s a max 20 yards out and in front of the posts has to stop.

    Do we go with out and out forwards who play as forwards with their Clubs ?


    Do we go with runners/tacklers/workers who are converted backs and midfielders ?

    Totally agree with Mayomad above, way too much focus on Roscommon, Galway are the big silent threat that many seem to be ignoring.

  22. First time in a long time I have voted for a win ,, I believe we should clog up the back for first 15/20 mins ,, don’t let them build up a lead ,, this is an in form rossie side playing at home ,, I agree is just another league but think its a serious opportunity for our lads to lay down a marker for the rest of the year and believe no matter what the rossie camp are saying our bucks will give them a right good rattle ,, expect skin and hair to fly ! ! !

  23. Like to go with last two comments but I have something holding me back! I can’t see any big change in strategy much in backs and forwards from what we ve had in the lead in games. With a bit of precision we could have won those which is saying a lot about our still strong spirit.
    Our lack of long shot takers is an obvious feature of the team.Only Reagan , COS, AOS ( when it tickles his fancy) seem to have the art in their possession.Witness Dong Dub,K and most teams really. Always someone with the high lofted point seeking shot that looks like a hope for the best! Properly executed many of them go over ….without all the shlobbering that goes with the much in vogue method (!) that we have been employing. If we can mix the two as we go along we ll be ar muing na muice and we ll be away…wheeeeew!!

  24. Olive, after the Kerry Game I think we have to go with proven free takers, with Cillian missing I would expect Regan to start for frees off the left, Doherty to take from the right. KMc to be kept well away from any type of free.
    I wounldnt be too suprised if we see DCoen or even Douglas feature at some stage, both well able to kick frees.

  25. Darren Coen doesn’t seem to have the physique for senior county football presently. He said himself that he prefers to play full forward and I think you need to be in serious shape for this position. If he was marking the likes of caff these days he wouldn’t get a sniff. During the final i observed that he was fairly out of shape (belly) but that can be rectified if he really wants to.

    Strange that we didn’t see Regan against Kerry even though he was warming up on the line. Given that we have no free taker at the minute I would have thought he would be worth his place for that reason alone. Maybe Rochford has seen enough at this stage.

  26. Freeman is the man for the free kicks and can win his own ball. Regan OK inside 35 meters on one side only but not great at winning his own ball when marked. D Coen too easily marked in the club All Ireland Final

  27. Agree DCoen was marked out of it in AI final but I think thats more to do will lack of support from other forwards, he was basically on his own in the ff line with 2+ defenders.

    Is Freeman fit and available for sunday? No sign of him at other matches so he cant have much training under the belt.

  28. Hopefully this is the perfect opportunity for Mayo to go out a lay down a marker and show that Roscommon have a long way to come before they can compete with the 5 in a row Connacht champions.

    Give them something to think about for the next few months.

  29. Hopefully, I agree behindenemylines.
    Our biggest issue is to get the following equation into proper functioning.

    Possession=>transfer=>pickup=>runners/angles=>space creation=>shot! It can come in many forms but that’s it. How does a fella feel if after a good pick up he finds he’s left in limbo?Subsequent ball will be approached with increasing trepidation leading to poor commitment and failure.Then you hear ‘take the f…off’
    In rugby you hear of a fella running a grand line….superb!! A bit of running described as such emphasises the importance of this aspect of the game.In our game it had become just as important and it’s oversight is a big part of our failure heading in on an attack.
    Either we hav’nt the players yet,not fit enough… hav’nt bought into it or don’t believe that this is important at all!
    Anyway looking forward to it all unfolding on Sun. What a treat again!

  30. Inbetweener, I do expect an improvment in our attacking play, Roachford has had a two week break to train. I expect a lot more kick passing and moving the ball quicker as this is his perfered way of playing. Coditions on the day will dictate the type of game, rain forecast for the weekend may have a negative effect on the fragile Hyde pitch which wont suit either side.

    Anyway its great to have a game to look forward to instead of picking over the bones of thelast day out.

  31. Agree that Sunday will be near enough championship . It’s a game both teams will be going for hell for leather ,, reckon mayo might have a surprise or to up their sleeves , can’t wait to be honest ,! Bring it on .. Hon Mayo !

  32. Roscommon 2-16 Mayo 0-11 based on season so far I DON’T LIKE IT but its the way it is. i hope Mayo throw the form book out the window when they get to the hyde because they will need to for to have any chance, 2 points from play by 6 forwards will not do it.

  33. Sean Burke Read my piece again. Far too much focus on Roscommon is what I am trying to say. If we want to get excited about the league games then last Sunday v Kerry was the place to do it. Errors cost us big time in that game, not hard work or a lack of commitment. Our backs to the wall mentality was 2 weeks ago. We know how that worked out so move on. We no longer have control of our destiny in the league and we will be relying on results elsewhere to stay up in my opinion. But on a positive note this has been a good start for us. We are trying new things and new people and that is welcome. A good finish to the league is the only way to go from here as it sets up a positive tone among supporters of the team. But league results have no bearing on Championship football.

  34. Good man Mike, how’s the pitch holding out above? Nothing like winding up the “rhubarbs” on their home page.

  35. Strategy will win this match, and on current form Roscommon who have ticked all the boxes this season have to be favourites. Their form to-date has surpassed all expectations and playing at home must give them a further edge. Mayo on the other hand have struggled their way through the League without showing any form or developing any new strategy that might give them an edge.

    If Mayo are to win this match, then they have to play smart. Gone should be the gun-hoe approach where we seem to give it a lash and hope for the best. We have seen during the League that we don’t have the forwards to win in the traditional way. We’ve got to approach this match with a safety first set-up, try and frustrate the Roscommon guys and hopefully hit them on the break. Converting our scoring chances from frees and open play will be paramount, Can we suddenly find a bit of form for this game ? only time will tell.

  36. I would love to see Rochford work out a strategy that encourages forwards to practice long range point scoring if mastered it would cut out all the forward and back rugby type play and cut out running into traffic I know it’s easier said than done but we have a problem in our forwards and I think we should try something new even if it takes a year or two to perfect

  37. I agree Backdoor, however this coaching should be done when the players are developing. The old phrase ‘can’t teach an old dog new tricks’ springs to mind unfortunately.

  38. Even it it started now coaching young fellas the proper skills and encouraging them to take shots from out the field etc in 20 years we would have players with a better skill set this giving us a better chance at winning finals 20 years isn’t that long look back at 1996 feels like yesterday I fear if we keep on repeating the same mistakes in front of goal the famine will continue

  39. Backdoor Sam……most of the bloggers will be in paradise by then! Perhaps our team there will come up with the goods!
    Something else to look forward to….roll on The Hyde ……roll on Paradise!

  40. Way too much importance is being given to this match, its just another league match. As fans we of course want our team to put out our best team and put in an impressive preformance every time. However with the league this does not happen, different teams have varying priorities during the league. Dublin can be competitive through out the whole year simply beacuse of their player base. Ros had too come out guns blazing at the start of the league beacuse of how last year went, they really needed a confidence boost. Kerry dont give a flying fuck about the league, they will try out a few players and slowly build up to summer, Mayo are in the same category, Mayo really dont care about the league as evidence from our performance in it for the past 5 years.

    I do think Mayo will win on sunday, there will be a little bite in the game in the first 10-15mins particularly from the Ros side but it will settle down onto a run of the mill league match.

    Win or loose on sunday it will have no bearing on championship. Mayo play their football in the summer.

  41. I have heard some people say this week on the street if Mayo go down that’s it for these players and us for a long time….utter rubbish. You think with the likes of Keegan, Cillian, O’Se, Durkan etc we are going back to the 70’s? Give me a break.

    We might loose Sunday but i actually fancy now now. I would be confident we beat that lot in Castlebar anyway IF we meet later in the year….30 years and counting.
    Very Quiet Gaway may pose to be the biggest hurdle yet.

  42. All i am hearing on here is Strategy, strategy. at the moment with a few forwards who can not kick points from play near or far from goal, I can not see how we can get to the main Strategy and that is to get more scores than roscommon. ps i would love to be proved wrong.

  43. Yew_tree, cant agree more. The Mayo team do not care for the league, never have, its about the Championship pure and simple. Getting relegated is really no big deal. Does Mickey Harte care if he is in Div 2? Does he fuck. He will built for summer and not show his hand until then.

    As I have said in previous threads, Mayo will be in Croke Park in August bank holiday weekend. Thats when we start to play football. We cant judge the team or management until then.

  44. in recent years league form has a bearing for the rest of the year. if mayo are relegated i can assure everyone that there will be no 3rd sunday in september to look forward.It might be alright saying that we dont give a fuck about the league if we have players who are ready to make the transittion from under age into senior level. There are only a few who are ready and the rest will take some time to make the grade. For me alot of the current panel have given their best over last 5 years and its difficult to see what else they as players can bring to the fold. The truth is our forward line has players who are not natural scores. This fact has caught us out on more than 1 occassion. Kmac.Jdoc.aido. These guys wont save us anymore. I have seen enough of these guys to know that when the chips are down they cant deliver.

    For me Diarmuid o connor should be given a more forward roll on sunday. He is clever and can take scores. We need him on top form to do this. Its a massive ask to keep up and down the field and be everywhere all at once. God knows he is good at it but id like to see him stay forward more and get in position to shoot for scores. Freeman could be good addition. Ronaldson is lively and can score. He is accurate.

    Staying up in division 1 is more important than anything else. Division 2 can be a mine field and i for one believe that staying up is of paramount importance, We need to stay playing the top teams as its best preparation for championship. Im not heading to hyde with any great confidence but as i said before when u least expect them to win they could surprise everyone.

  45. We seen what we did to Donegal in 2013 after they got relegated that year. We hammered them out the gate. They never really recovered from their relegation that year. The same thing happened to Westmeath, Derry and Kildare, they had very poor seasons after getting relegated from Division 1. Tyrone did buck this trend last year, making the All-Ireland semi-final but they were unlucky to go down last year after beating us and I think having three draws, including one against Dublin. Tyrone’s manager, Mickey Harte did say that it’s highly unlikely that a team playing in Division 2 will win an All-Ireland title that year. It dents a team’s confidence getting relegated. Donegal did get to the final in 2014 after playing in Division 2 but ultimately they didn’t produce the kind of football that they produced in 2012 after a season of playing Division 1 football.

    Tomás Ó Sé said in his book that Jack O’Connor took the league very seriously and in his time they won the double of the league and the championship a number of times as Dublin have done in the last few years.

    I was reading a stat that since 2011, ourselves and Dublin have reached 5 All-Ireland semi-finals, Kerry 4, Donegal 3, Tyrone 2 and Cork 1. Its so disappointing that we have not got over the line yet. Can we keep it going, only time will tell. It would almost be a tragedy if players like Keith Higgins, Cillian O’Connor, Lee Keegan, Aidan O’Shea, Colm Boyle etc. don’t get their hands on an All-Ireland medal but for the year ahead, a win against Roscommon on Sunday would be a first step in the right direction. Roll on the game!

  46. Up Mayo hope they win I think all hype with the Rosses I think they could flop later I have nothing against them though.

  47. A hero of mine, Johan Cruyff has passed away today, a Dheis dé ar a ainm dilís. Two quotes of his are apt as we await our fortunes. “Football is simple. But nothing is more difficult than playing simple football.” He also stated “”You have got to shoot , or you cant score.”

    Now I have noted that a lot of posters are dismissive of the league. Maybe they are correct…maybe not. Since 2003 to last season, 7 teams that won the league also won Sam in the same season. A further three reached All Ireland finals as well as league finals in the same season too. Looking at the Sam leaders we see Kerry and Dublin as one and two. funnily enough they are also one and two in the league title holders as well.

    Until , I think 1971 we led the league winners, in ’72 we allowed Kerry to pass us out, we won the 1970 league title but lost finals to Kerry in ’71 and ’72. Recently we allowed Dublin to pass us out and allowed Cork to climb up behind us, ’10, ’12 being just two of them. We may not rate the league, others do.

    Someone said relegation wouldn’t see us back to the 1970s type stuff. Again maybe, maybe not. Truth is we don’t know. who would have thought that after the 1951 AIF we would win Connacht titles in ’55, ’67,.’69, ’81 and ’85 before we resurrected ourselves back up the ladder. Five titles, thirty four year time span.

    But looking at the stats for our *U21s we read the following. The competition is the springboard to the senior teams. started in 1964 we won 2 out of 6 in the 1960s, 6/10 in the ’70s, 5/10 in the 80s, 3/10 in the ’90s, 7/10 in the ’00s but not a single Connacht title since 2009. Another few barren seasons and our conveyor belt dries up. The senior team has masked a myriad. The Minors suffered their historical worst two results ever recently. So folks, Sunday is important but its not the only horse on the Mayo race course that’s important.

  48. Mayomad Everytime I see Kerry they are introducing someone new. As the older bucks come back they are eager to hold on to their jersey. They missed nothing in Castlebar and took all their chances from our mistakes. They will probably meet Dublin in the final this year.

  49. Anne Marie I think Tyrone are a very good bet it could be a Tyrone Kerry all Ireland final I was impressed with Kerry against us they haven’t gone away you know

  50. PJ, if you`re referring to the Championship, Dublin and Kerry can`t meet in the Final as they would be due to meet in the Semi Final

  51. Agressive high press game needed Sunday. Blow them outta the water early. if we give them a doing Subday along with the Dubs the following week it will take a lot of wind outta there sails. That Rossy midfield does not have the physicality and there FB line is suspect

  52. All im saying is that its the fans that are creating the importance in the league, this current Mayo team have no interest in the league, you can tell by past results, in what they say in interviews etc. Win or loose on sunday will not have any bearing what so ever come championship time. Relegation for this team really does not matter, All Ireland is all they thimk about. Will relegation have an impact on future development of players in Mayo, possibly, time will tell. Im just saying this current team dont care about this league.

    Ann-Marie, Tyrone got too semi final last year and but for a little lack of composure in front of goal they would have beaten Kerry. Harte is building another very good team up there and are def worth a little flutter.

  53. Kerry and Dublin can meet in the final if Cork win munster Kerry will have to take scenic route and can avoid Dublin until final

  54. HSE I don’t think the Donegal analogy stands up respectfully. That Donegal team were not at their peak in 2013 because they got no time off to recover after their AI win. They were back playing club championship a week after the final in 2012 and straight back into training for the following years championship after that. They were a tired team when we beat them, not taking away from our performance on that day but they were out on their feet by the 45th minute. In regards to 2014 they came straight back up to Divison 1. Bet the Dubs well in their semi final and came within the width of a post of drawing the AI final when they gave away a sloppy goal and did not perform on the day. While I would like to stay up in Div 1 this year and be hopeful of it, I dont think it will have a huge bearing going into the Championship this year. and if god forbid we do go down and out of championship at QF stage then I would be more than happy if we could do what Donegal did when they were relegated. In regards to Sunday I am quietly confident of a close 1-2 pt win with neither side giving too much away before a potential dinger in the summer. Maigh Eo Abu!!

  55. I would reckon that PJ is talking about the league final, that it will be a repeat of last year’s All-Ireland final, between Kerry and Dublin. Hopefully Kerry will do us a favour this week-end anyway by beating Monaghan.

  56. League is important and it is not in our interest to get relegated. Good points made re strategy. We can talk about strategy all we like but if Mayo forwards dont kick the ball over the bar on sunday we can start working out a strategy for getting out of Div 2 next year. Our scoring from play and indeed from frees has been woeful so far. Its a bad state of affairs when Robbie has scored more than some of our forwards. We need to stop burying our heads in the sand. First up the Castlebar boys returning was going to save us. We talk now of Cillian being our saviour. I doubt if the Castlebar boys are walking on air at the moment and we dont know when Cillian is returning or whether he will be near match fit for the early part of championship.So its up to the boys who are there and in possession of the jerseys at the moment to go out and do the business. So far that has not happened. Ross in contrast have had a superb league and unlike us they know where the posts are. On present form they should win. This is a great opportunity for Mayo to rip up the form book and put down a marker. We have a super record in Hyde Park. Our season starts in earnest on Sunday. Go out and grasp it and win the bloody thing.

  57. Saying the players don’t care about league and relegation going by results and what they say in interviews is just lies . We are playing top flight football longer than any other county and ye obviously missed AOS recent interview where he quite clearly states he does not want to be part of a Mayo team who are relegated . Also indicated it would be all guns blazing this Sunday in the Hyde .

    Don’t show the white feather ffs, we are Mayo and we will fuckin win on Sunday because we are the better than them. Come on Mayo .

  58. Make no mistake lads that no Mayo player or any one on this new management team will want relegation on their CV and its a long standing record to be proud of and one to keep for another few years yet!

    I think the performances will also show the next two weekend how much the players and management want to stay up however as it stands if wins are got v Roscommon,Down i believe Monaghan need to also slip in one of their two games.

    Roscommon have secured their div one status for another year and Down are as good as relegated already. These are two games Mayo should be winning simply because their need to win is more than their opponents.

  59. Have no doubt about it Mayo do not want to be relegated to Div 2. Neither do they want to be beaten by Ros in the current circumstances and they will go all out to win this game. And yes a defeat on Sunday would be a setback for everyone. There’s a battle to be fought …….let’s fight it……..and win. Expect fireworks!

  60. Kevin Mc sounded upbeat about Mayo under Stephen Rochford. He gave his Assessment to 6 Journalists during the week. Pic etc on Twitter. He now teaches in Westport. He might be Captain for the day. He probably goes to Allergen for lunch.
    The last time theree was awful day in Hyde Park Mago only just won thanks to Rob Hennelly catcxhing a ball over the crossbar and the discovery of Cillian as freetaker.
    Then the last time only the introduction of Andy and Dillon saved the day. Evans was full of praise for them. So on current form Ros should win.
    Yet i can see Freeman coming back with a bang. Higgins may play and their might not be alot wrong with the forwards bar the absence of Cillian. All the indications coming from Lee etc are good. Plenty of reason to hope.
    I take it the team will be named on Saturday. Hardly on Good Friday?
    Ciaran 2.

  61. I am expecting Kerry to meet Dublin in the League final this year. I believe they want to leave a few more marks on the Dubs before they come together later this year in the AI semi final. All due respect to Ros and Donegal who will also make the League semi final this year, but I am expecting the former pair to push through. You never know with Kerry and what the intentions are, but they are a different animal when they loose an All Ireland final, and Fitz has to start beating them at something real soon. Looking forward to the Hyde on Sunday and hopefully a good game of football.

  62. Sean, no one is showing white feathers. I do believe we will win on sunday as I think on the day wr will have too much for Ros. If we win I will be delighted, if we loose I will be in that dark pit of depression us Mayo supporters are all too familiar with.

    I am just trying to highlight that this is just a league match with little importance in the greater scheme of things. I do believe the Mayo team are gearing up for summer and the league is a very distant second.

    If the worst happens, which I dont think will, but if we do get relegated then no big deal. This squad will get promoted next year without much fuss.

    I used Tyrone as an example earlier and the more I think of it the more I can see Tyrone making a big advantage of div 2. They got relegated but make it too a AI semi, almost a final. They have now spent a year wirh reduced expectation, less pressure and media attention. Harte has had that opportunity to blood players, try new things and fine tune his strategy safe in the knowledge that a return to div one was just about guaranteed.

    In short I believe we will stay up but a visit to div 2 for a year is no big disadvantage.

  63. Mayomad

    I dont know about it been a match of no importance. Its alot more important to us than it is to Roscommon. They are already in the semi final and we are fighting to stay up. I cant see any of the Mayo panel wanting to get relegated. Roscommon are safe so they might just come out and play with no pressure. If they score like they have done then we wont win. We dont have the forwards to be kicking high scores. We need to keep them to about 13 points I feel.

    Also Tyrone won last years U21 and they have another good batch this year. They will be a serious team in a year or 2. I think they were in a much stronger position going down last year than we would be if we went down. Also there are 5 Ulster teams in Div 2 this year and that suited Tyrone no end. They were used to playing those style games. If Galway get promoted then I would fear them in the championship. We need to stay up. We have this year and next to win the big one. We will have to build again after that

  64. I’m not sure about it been of greater or lesser importance to either Roscommon or Mayo.. they both wants this equally as bad as each other but for very different reason. For Mayo it is simply to stay in Division 1 and have the highest quality preparation year on year going into the championship until we land Sam at least.. if everything was going right for us in the league and we win it well that’s an added bonus.. that’s the way I see it anyways.
    For Ros.. its all very well and good they will make the qualifiers and play the likes of Dublin and Kerry and so on.. but what good is that to them if Mayo land them on their arse come Championship which we have been doing for quite a few years now. Roscommon need to beat Mayo at every chance they get otherwise they will not get out of Connaught for another year except maybe by the back door. So Roscommon will come out and play and they will be under pressure to win it.
    Agree with yee regards Tyrone they could Def be a dark horse this year.. not sure about Donegal under current management.

  65. Toe to hand, I agree with a lot of what you say..Both sides are going to let rip on Sunday and it could get a bit hairy at times.
    Mayo know the importance of a win, whilst Fergal O`Donnell was quoted yesterday as saying that the Roscommon players “` are really looking forward to this match “..

    Don`t think Donegal have the legs left for a sustained challenge for Sam. Yes, they would be an awkward opponent on any given day, but I can`t see them going all the way with that team.

  66. This is a critical match for us and anyone who says otherwise is deluded. Losing on Sunday and getting relegated may or may not define the rest of our year but which scenario do we want to approach the championship with… getting beaten by the Rossies and limping out of Division 1 or laying down a marker and maintaining our status among the big boys. We can point to other teams and analyse how they have gotten on after being relegated til the cows come home, but simply put the best preparation for any championship campaign is Division 1 football and relegation would hurt us badly, in both mental and preparation terms. We have two games left against opposition we are well capable of beating and the players must put in huge performances and leave everything on the pitch if need be. Anything less is just not good enough.

  67. yes i agree this is a big match for us.Honeymoon is over. Shit or leave the pot time. No excuses .We are missing Cillian but he could get injured or be sent off in any game. Have we a plan B for that eventuallity? We must at all times have an extra free taker on our match day panel.

  68. Top notch comment there Ultair and a great and inspiring blog again from J Cuffe. A clear realistic picture of the likely pos scene in the making ahead and further on. There are indeed the seeds there to produce a poor yielding crop if proper measures are not put in place. To Quote Johan Cruyffe conducts us to the core of where we are and where we could/should be. Simplicity and scores!!!! ‘ if you don’t play the game you won’t find out how simple it is’ . It’s all in there and the onus is on us all to get stuck in.
    So,choose your game and trim it to its simplicity. And then JC says ….there’s nothing as difficult as discovering the simple. You have to know what you re about. We are thinking we know that and are in the groove and it’s exciting to be on board at this time.
    This game on Sun will leave a big mark on the history that exists between these two teams apart from what their respective needs are. Like the horses racing,the margins are small and it ll be small things will win games….small things that take alota doing.

  69. One thing that we should remember as well is that if we end up in Division 2 then straight away the revenue that we get from our home games would probably be halved. There is a big difference between the likes of Dublin and Kerry coming to town and some of the current Division 2 teams. With our current debts, this is probably something that we cannot afford, even if it was for only one year.

    The way I see the relegation battle at the moment is, if Monaghan lose their last two games and we beat Down then we are safe.

    Otherwise at the moment we are level on -16 points difference with Cork so we’d need them to lose to Kerry in their last game and for us to win our last two games and hope that we are then ahead of Cork on points difference i.e. it could come down to what each of us beats Down by. That is as long as we end up on the same no. of points as Cork, i.e. 6 points along with another team as Cork would be safe ahead of us on the head to head rule if only us and Cork were on six points.

    So this week-end along with us hoping to beat Roscommon, we should hope that Kerry beat Monaghan and that Cork only beat Down by a small margin. It’s all to play for!

  70. We’ve narrowly escaped the black hole of relegation to Division 2 on a couple of occasions over the previous five years, however, that was with a younger, fresher, improving team whose trajectory was on the up. This years campaign looks somewhat volatile as the change in gameplan is exposing what some of us have been highlighting for many years – our shortage of top class forwards. This, coupled with a tired looking / aging team and coming up against a young, fit, determined Roscommon outfit who are only a few short seasons away from landing an AI imo, leaves us with a challenge that I think will be beyond us on Sunday unless a complete transformation in our attacking play is engineered. Let’s hope that happens and takes our fate out of the hands of others.

  71. 45, Ros have a long way to go before they can be considered AI contenders now or in the future. They need toput together a couple of championship performances for starters which is totally different to league.

    Agreed Mayo need to sort out the forwards but I think this will improve by summer. It looks like Rochford had been concentrating on defence so far and there has been improvements in this area, we have been caught out by teams who have long range shooters, Cork & Kerry, however this also will improve as the team get fitter and the half forwards and midfielders fitler back more efficiently closing down space.

    Rochfords hands have been tied in some regards in the forwards area as various players have been unavailable through injury and club duty. Also weather has been a factor as his preferred kick passing style is tough to train starting out in rough winter months.

    Mayo will be a totally different animal in the summer and win or loose on sunday we will still be top dogs in Connacht come championship time.

    Dont see too many changes for sunday, my choice would be
    Harrison, Calf, Nally/Barrett
    Leeroy, Boyler, Durcan
    SOS, Parsons
    KMc, AOS, DOS
    Regan, Freezer/Kirby, JD

  72. What do ye make of gallaghers tweet (western people) , strong rumour of serious addition for Sunday , Cillian ?

  73. If he is fully fit and has some training sessions under his belt then he is most welcome. But like Higgins if there is any doubt about his fitness then he should not be included. They are too important to risk recurring injuries.Bigger days ahead.

  74. If Cillian is involved I wouldn’t expect much from him apart from frees. After all it is a long time since he played a competitive match.

  75. The way I see it, we have one very difficult game to avoid relegation. That is some difference than have to go a full season in div 2 to achieve promotion. Like most of the posters, div 1 is important and sure haven’t we being saying that for the best part of 20 years.
    Finally if Cillian is 60% fit I’d play him. For frees and the positive boast it would bring to the team and the match on the day.

  76. Id rather get relegated then risk a player like Cillian getting injured again for the championship.

  77. Agree with Ultair that this is a critical match for us – it’s an absolute must-win.

    Reading John Casey in the Advertiser today and he says Mayo “will also need a decisive plan B in place should the long ball into Aidan O’Shea backfire.”

    I would argue that “the long ball into Aidan O’Shea” should be nothing more than a Plan D at this stage given our current lack of intelligence in using it.

  78. Big prediction there 45 on Rossies’ AI prospects. They’ll need to start winning a Connaught championship match soon, to come good on that one.

    As for our aging team being exposed in the league, the opposite is in fact the case. It’s the newbies who are being exposed, which is no reason not to try (or persist) with them.

    That said of course the Rossies’ recent results have been good, ours have been patchy. I think we can win on Sunday, mainly because we have to and the Rossies don’t. They will be thinking of experimenting and resting U21 players. I think we will need U21s to play if it means the winning of the game – particularly D O’C.

  79. I’m not sure whether this has been posted elsewhere so posting it here just in case – for those of you intending to travel to the London game, the tickets are now on sale here:


    The capacity of the ground in Ruislip is small so if you are planning on going, get on the ball and get your tickets now – if the crowd that travelled to NYC two years ago is anything to go by there will be huge demand for these. The game is all ticket for the first time.

    A season ticket will not get you in either or count towards your attendance – according to Mayo GAA “London retain the gate receipts for these games as it is their only source of gate income throughout the Championship season and as such these fixtures are treated as separate from the Connacht Championship itself.”

  80. Mayomad – you may be right re Ros (I hope you are) but we’ve seen young, vibrant teams in the past who have come out of the blue to become great champions – think Galway in the late nineties and Tyrone in the noughties as recent examples – this Ros team looks to have the ingredients to follow suit. Plus its no harm at all to have the whole country talking them up….!!!!

  81. Lee Keegan , Colm Boyle, Keith Higgins, Tom parsons, Barry Moran , AOS , two O Connors , Kevin Mac and more coming Loftus , Duffy , reape coen, Etc .

    Ffs , just trying to remind some of ye who we are .

    I just think some of us are going overboard in the context of we are just going to roll over and start fawning over the new Barcelona (roscelona, as I seen on gaa board , lol) are we hell as like . Roll up the sleeves and enter the battle like this team has done always,

    So looking forward to Sunday ,Republic of Mayo to storm the Hyde and take it over.

  82. Good man yourself Sean. We certainly are Mayo, now being laughed at by half the country. We haven’t won Sam for over 60 years.. Now that’s a proud record to have.. but, we won’t show the white feathers!!! 😉

  83. Lads and lassies, for some reason i don’t think that Sunday is the day to bring Cillian back. That would be well ahead of the original schedule that was outlined for him. I think there will be some hard hits in that game on Sunday, and with the championship in mind, i wouldn’t like to see Cillian in the middle of it… Have heard estimates of 10,000 crowd for next Sunday.

  84. I’m not sure if anyone heard Peter Canavan on the “Last Word” yesterday. Matt Cooper did his best to lead him into following the narrative that this is the end for Mayo and the start of the Roscommon dominance in Connacht. Peter rained on his parade a bit by giving the following assessment of Roscommon. He pointed out how they had two months extra training on everyone else, how none of the teams would have targeted their games, he gave Donegal as an example who would have targeted Mayo, Kerry and Dublin. I’m not trying to down play their achievements or say they are not a good team, but no one would have been “up for it” like Mayo will be Sunday.
    Canavan finished by saying that whether Mayo are playing Div 1 or 2 next year, we will be a major force come championship, that all the stops are being pulled out and a serious game plan is being put in place. That’s the view of a very knowledgeable outsider and one I would share completely.

  85. 45, agreed Ros have some fine young players and an obvious good youth system. For now they are lacking in quality midfielders, a position I expect Mayo to exploit on sunday. They also lack in an area Mayo also lack, that player or two who will do the dirty work with a win at all costs attitude. You cant put a price on players the likes of Philly McMahon in high pressure matches.

    I would def not risk Cillian if there is the slightest chance of injury. Higgins has pulled up twice this year and risks being plagued by recurring injurys, we cant afford to loose Cillian to a similar fate.

    Ann-Marie I have said it before AOS is just not a ff and it does not suit the team to play hail marys all day into him. He is one of the top midfielders in the country, play him out there.

  86. 45, Galway came out of nowhere in the late 90’s but got a very soft route to an all ireland, beating a washed up derry team and a hyped up kildare team. However, in saying this, it was a very talented Galway team – 4 of the team that started the 1998 All Ireland Senior Final were u21 in 1998 – Joyce, Savage, Donnellan, Divilly and one was just a year older, Meehan. Paul Clancy came on and he was only 22. Interestingly, none of these lads won any all ireland underage. That Galway team should have gone on to win more, particularly with them winning an u21 All Ireland in 2002.

    Tyrone on the other hand did not come out of the blue, they won back to back u21 All Irelands in 2000 and 2001 – they added these lads to the remnants of the 1995 side.

    Ann Marie, I agree re: Tyrone. Ive been saying to anyone who’ll listen since last year that Tyrone will be the team to keep an eye on in 2016. I fancy them to win Ulster and they’ll look on that as being a ‘softer’ route to a final via the Connacht champions.

    Mayo cannot take anyone for granted this year. I dont put too much emphasis on tomorrow. I am firmly in the ‘its just the league’ camp. In fact, the u21 game the following week is of much greater significance in my opinion. The worst that can happen to us in the league is that we get a stint in div2, so what. Look at Donegal. Look at Tyrone. No harm done. I would start getting concerned if we were down there and not dominating.

    Senior Championship matters. It’s really all that matters. Underage championship at the moment given the circumstances of recent underage failures, should be much more important to us than the senior league.

    Finally, Galway are coming back. The 18th of June will be a massive game. Anyone looking past this is being very naive.

  87. “our currant lack of intelligence in using it” Anne-Marie I couldn’t agree more with your choice of words in describing the delivery to A O’Shea. And it begs the question, what are the side-line thinking as the watch this so unproductive style of play, and you also have to wonder is there no players on the field who can’t see this for themselves?

  88. roscommon got back training early as they knew that preparation was key to staying up in division 1. Fair play they have done that and will be very happy.They have good footballers. Their kicking points for fun and currently playing well. We need to bring a very high tempo to the game on sunday. One that they have not experienced before. Lets play the game on our terms and boss them in all areas. Keegan has been playing as a defender so far so its time to let him loose and play him as an attacking defender. His surging runs off the shoulder can reap rewards and keep ross thinking. Perhaps Aiden would start round the middle and we could play two fast inside forwards. If higgins is fit he should be deployed in the forwards as his speed can cause havoc. He is a terror to mark and can pick passes also. Good forwards not only look for ball and score, they also create space with some unselfish running which would leave space for keegan and co to make hay.

    As i have said before im not to keen on some of our forward selections as they fail to deliver but we must go with what we have. Kmac. Ronaldson. Higgins have pace and i would deploy them with Diarmuid (who will be in better shape than against kerry) Loftus and regan. These guys will also win frees easier than Aido. These guys also give us freetaking skills. I feel when u start without recognised freetakers defenders go in harder as they take there chances with us missing frees. We must pressure ross in all these areas the next day. Our defending needs to be good and our forwards need to show willing at all times and not remain like statues when ball is on the way.


    Thats my team guys let me know what ye think.

    Im not playing sos Vaughan. I think we also play with to much lack of mobility so aido is enough round the middle.

  89. Apologies – this might be the wrong section but why are the GAA now looking for
    Mayo fans with Season tickets to pay into the London game ?

    I thought that they were sold on the basis of free admission to the first round of the championship. They are claiming that its to allow all the revenue to the London and New York GAA which is fair enough but surely the GAA themselves could compensate them given the revenue they get from season tickets. Why are Connaught fans at a disadvantage to other counties ? Surely the GAA could decide to give free entry to the subsequent round assuming progress is made ?

    The GAA seem to care less and less about the paying fan as the years go on.

  90. I think Ros will win but with only a few points to spare.They have most of their championship team out bar Niall Carty and Donie Shine who will be in championship team.
    I think Mayo will deny them posession but in Smyth and Murtagh they will get scores and fall over the line.
    However that will be their last win over Mayo this year.
    Mayo however will have to improve on forward basics.I think there is a lot of ball to be played.

  91. Hueyandlouis

    Shine and Carty are missing but lads that won’t be playing that are closer to starting team are Cathal Shine and then add in Diarmuid Murtagh and Harney who are two definite starters come championship both just back from injury and will be rested for u21 so you could say missing 5 lads that will be on first 15 should they be fit come the summer

  92. If we hold a good defensive shape and pick an experienced physical middle eight I think we will win. I looked at the Roscommon – Donegal game using the pause button and Donegal were way off their usually well marshalled defence.
    Lots of space given to lone runners coming into the centre. That wont happen this Sunday.
    Agree there is no sense handing Roscommon the easy lift of AOS getting crowded out in the forwards. I’d use him back around middle.
    I would stop using him for 70 minutes. Empty the tank to 50 minute mark and then get fresh legs in.

  93. Team I would pick injuries permitting







  94. Clutch, Mayo supporters will, as far as I know, get free entry to the next game in Connacht instead.

    That’s what happened v New York anyway (even though season ticket holders did get a $10 discount at the gate there from what I remember).

  95. JP, as usual, great post. Now, a question for you. Could you speculate as to why Donegal did not have their usual defence?

  96. It’ll be very interesting to see who will play midfield for us on Sunday as Roscommon are not playing an orthodox midfield at the moment. The one change that they have made for this game is to pick Enda Smith in midfield. He is more noted as a wing forward. So you’d think that Tom Parsons will be one of our midfielders as he is a very mobile player. Maybe this might be the ideal game to give Lee Keegan a run out in midfield. I’d still play Seamie O’Shea but ask him to play a deeper role between our half-back line and midfield, to block up the area in front of our defence, the role Barry Moran played for us in some games last year like the Donegal one. The two lads could interchange also when needed.

    Then I’d prefer to see Conor O’Shea on the half-forward line, working in the opposite direction, allowing him to run at the Roscommon defence. This might also be the ideal game for Aidan O’Shea to try and do what he did against Sligo last year, as Roscommon were very vulnerable to the high ball into their full-back line when they lost against Sligo last year. Then I’d have Evan Regan and Alan Freeman feeding off Aido. They would be well able to take the frees from the left and right as well. Hopefully Chris Barrett will be back for this game as well to add a bit of steel to our defence. I’d keep Jason Doc on the bench for this game as well. It would be nice to see David Clarke get a game between the sticks too.

  97. All fans pay into the london game and New York as they get 100 percent of gate receipts beacuse its their only home championship game. All season ticket holders will get free entry to Galway Match.

    Just looking at the weather, heavy rainfall in Roscommon tomorrow, not sure the state of the hyde pitch it will have a negative effect on the match on sunday

  98. @Joe Mc I know teams have to get strength sessions in. Maybe they took that week to get a double gym session in. When Roscommon were full of running early on Donegal were a yard off the pace all over the pitch. Positioning was off with defenders following Roscommon out wide to the wings. First half there is a score with four Donegal defenders out wide near the sideline. Middle left open to the man in posession who took a little pop pass out of the crowd.
    The nornal aggression wasnt there. Eamon McGee was timid for Eamon McGee and he is a very good defender.

  99. I have a small caveat to my earlier ‘Mayo to win because they have to’ post:

    This will be, in effect, the Rossies first home game,s their first in front of a real home crowd,the hoohah about the Hyde and all that, so motivation will be there.

    It’s a biggie for us and for this management, no denying that. Really hope we have been putting in the hard yards in training in the last couple of weeks.

  100. Hi All,
    The very best of luck against Roscommon and the best of luck to them but can I just say without sounding arrogant….you are playing Roscommon and I know they have improved but if this game doesn’t motivate the Mayo lads (especially in Hyde Park) what will, Mayo by 6 to 8 points, cheers.

    PS- We owe Donegal one so I hope we both do the business cheers

    Kind Regards,
    Martin the Dub

  101. My pick for Sunday would be:


    Subs to come in:
    Durcan, B Moran, Keane, Dillon, COC, McLoughlin

  102. Joe Mac cheers for the patronising good man yourself jibe. Anyway let half the country laugh away at a team who have won five provincials and been in five semis on the bounce and contested two finals in said period ,unless they are from the 3 winners they have little to be laughing at.

    Back to the game itself , Roscommon haven’t a great midfield in fact it’s pretty makeshift and even when the western gales Buck Higgans gets back it’s a very average middle . I’d expect us to give them a right good shaken around the middle eight. I don’t go with the flow here about AOS , I want him at ff for this game , I have a hunch he’s chomping at the bit for this game if Collins and Seanie Mac double up on him surely we will know how to exploit this by now . Our defence will be tested for sure but they’ve passed a lot bigger tests that seems to be forgotten by all and sundry lately .

    Be very interesting to read the comments after the game Sunday , until then slan. Busy weekend for some of us patriot sort .

  103. Team announced:



    Conor Loftus

    Evan Regan
    Jason Doherty
    Conor OShea

  104. Lads, it is as with every team named this year a dummy team. Expect at least two changes in personnel and positional switches. My information is that Kevin is injured.

  105. Interesting too see loftus on the 40, he is prob more suited to that position.

    Defence is as expected, would liked to see Durcan feature, prob will come off the bench.

    There will be a change or two by throw in.

  106. Ballaghaman – you can’t say things like that about a specific player on here and you’ve been posting long enough to know this.

  107. Supposing that this is the team that starts it has to be said that a team without CIllian O Connor, Keith Higgins and now Kevin Mc Loughlin is severely weakened. It is a huge challenge for the newer lads. It is also a great opportunity for them to step up and make a name for themselves. I hope it works out for them.

  108. Sean, five Provincial finals against the weakest opposition in years, mighty, and lost everything else in Croke Park. Mighty again!

  109. Loftus and COS have potential and hope they do well, I can see Conor operating more at half forward. Big game for Regan as he is the only recognised free taker on the field so needs to be on his game.

    Nally will operate as a sweeper and he is quiet effective at it, can read a game well. Fingers crossed leeroy isnt moved back to the corner as he will be required to pick up Fintin Cregg who for me is their top player so far.

    Hoping for a big Mayo crowd with lots of noise,let them know we come in force

  110. Re the season ticket.

    I have had since the start. I have used it in New York in 2010 and in London in 2011 to get in.

    They were included and also the subsequent round if we won which we did( just about ) as part of the conditions of the season ticket as I queried it both years.

    Somewhere along the line this has changed.

    Why I don’t know. I suspect because the Connaught Council , London and New York boards did not expect us to travel in the numbers we did.

  111. Mayonaze Agree with all that. We want to win all games all the time. But if we look at our priorities then the Connaught title is a must win for us. This game will be forgot about by the first week of April. No point in trying to undo a result of two weeks ago. Get over the hurt…..

  112. Pj. Agreed our priority is championship, too much emphasis being put on this match(a league match in March). People have needlessly overhyped this game to a point where now if we loose, which I dont think we will, but if we do it will be used as a stick to beat this team in the media going into the championship.

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