Statement of intent tomorrow would be good

Mayo flag AIF 2013

It’s only mid-April but already our first important knockout game of the year – one taking place at HQ too (and we’re not even the Dubs) – is facing us tomorrow. But it still is only the middle of April so it’s hard to know what to think ahead of this one: over the past two years we’ve had very contrasting performances by the county team at this play-off stage of the League and we still ended up getting as far as the All-Ireland final in both years.

In that sense, it’s difficult to know to what degree how we get on in the business end of the League impacts on how we get our heads sorted to face into the championship. On the basis of the last two years, you’d say it has little or no impact and this could be the way this year too, despite all that guff in the papers since the start of this campaign about our “need” for a League title this year.

For all that, I still think it’d be great if we really opened up on Derry tomorrow, not least because all the talk about tomorrow’s action has (understandably) focused heavily on the Dublin/Cork match. In that sense, a performance from our lads might make the Fourth Estate sit up and take a bit of notice.

More importantly, though, I’d like to see us use our far greater Croke Park experience to good effect by going out and bossing this match right from the throw-in.  We’ve had a number of good Croke Park days in recent years against Northern opposition and despite Derry’s strong credentials, there’s absolutely no way we should be fazed about taking them on tomorrow in a winner-takes-all battle.

A battle is what it’s likely to be but it’s one that we can and should win to qualify for our second League final in three years. Safe travelling to all heading to the game and here’s hoping for happy hunting at HQ tomorrow. Up Mayo!

21 thoughts on “Statement of intent tomorrow would be good

  1. Agree with ya WJ about the Croke park experience i said that before as well.I do feel there is a big performance in us tomorrow. Expecting huge intensity tomorrow. Derry i fell may try make it into a dog fight. But no doubt in my mind we wil get the win tomorrow and if cork beat the dubs jaysus ill be one happy chappy leaving croker 🙂

  2. I wouldn’t be building up to much expectations regarding a big performance from us tomorrow. Other than the odd period of dominance, we still don’t seem to be capable of killing off teams and there’s no evidence to suggest that we’re somehow going to turn it on to-morrow. Derry are a young hungry side with a very good Manager and they will be fancying their chances against us. Unless we can suddenly show a bit more ruthlessness in driving home our advantage when we’re on top, then nothing other than a nail biting finish is on the cards. And when did Mayo last come out on top in one of those tight matches ?

  3. WJ, I’d prefer if the first time the Fourth Estate sit up and take notice is when we’re karting Sam out the gates of Croker in September. No attention means less hype and a lot less pressure!

  4. How likely is this Derry side to have football on august bank holiday weekend? Mayo,Dublin,cork will probably cork,Kerry,Donegal also. It’s a game mayo should be winning by at least 4 to 6 points and I think they will.

  5. You said it WJ, we need to boss this game. No way should Derry be allowed to bully us, or see us as a soft touch, an easier route to the final.
    We need at least 4 guys to dominate their areas, Ger at FB, Aido and Jason at MF and Freezer at FF. If those 4 lead, the rest will follow.

  6. Agree 100% WJ. Mayo have been the AIF runner ups for the past two years. Mayo are a serious team (whatever that means) and we need to consistently play with the arrogance of champions. This Mayo team still have alot to prove to themselves. Mayo need to shake off that “Uncle Tom” attitude and not be ashamed to be the fucking best team in the country, by a country mile. Let’s show ourselves and others, what we really are made of. This is no hype talk. If Mayo truly believe in themselves they are fully capable of bossing any team in the country.

  7. Like all Ulster teams Derry will undoubtedly see us as a soft touch as they prepare for todays game – its up to us to go out there and give it 100% from start to finish and show them who’s boss. Lets see the hunger and sheer will to bounce back from last years AI final disappointment show through today.. Up Mayo !

  8. Fighting talk there Joe Ruane, and yes I agree we are a serious team, but the reason we don’t play with the arrogance of champions is because we’re not champions and haven’t been for a long time. And as for bossing all other teams, it sounds easy on paper but a bit of realism here, maybe just maybe, we’re not as good as we’d like to think we are.

  9. Good luck lads hope mayo win wonder is it breezy up in Dublin and maybe dubs might win too ha ha

  10. I hear you Mayo McHale. I fully realise that Mayo are not champions yet. I believe that this current team and management have it well within themselves not only to win Sam but also to dominate for an era.

    In the past Mayo have been overated. In 89 we were soundly beaten by Cork despite putting up a valiant effort. The’96 team came out of nowhere. We were almost beaten by London and I think that we overcame Cavan in the semi final. In 04 we beat Fermanagh after a replay in the semi final. I suppose the writing was on the wall we just refused to read it.

    Mayo in the past have been over hyped but sometimes Mayo McHale the hype is real. Kevin Mac in an interview after the Dublin game said that “sometimes we are own worst enemies”. There is alot of truth in that statement. After years of crying wolf it’s hard to believe that there’s a massive one finally ripping and tearing the door to shreds, that has held us in check for too long now.

    Believe the hype.

  11. In fairness I don’t remember too many teams bossing (whatever that is) us in the last few years.

  12. Beat Kerry in 1996 semi by 2 13 to 1 10 I think. A really great performance that day in Croker. Along with our defeat of Dubs in brilliant semi in 2006 they were my most enjoyable days in Croke park until the current crop came along. Since 2011 wins at headquarters against Cork, Dublin, Donegal and Tyrone have been great occasions. Just shows what a great effort these lads have made.

  13. Of course it was Kerry in 96. I remember Spillane saying before the game that”Mayo supporters would save themselves alot of heart ache if they stayed in their beds.” I think Cavan were in contention that year.

    Anyways I guess what I’m trying to say is that I believe that this current Mayo team are a different animal. Time will tell. It always does.

  14. Wj. Just reading ur piece. I wonder by not wanting to go out and win the league are we settling for seceond best again. A fear of winning ? Wining breeds winning. Saying from the start of the game that a loss is no big deal. We should b goin all out to win this thing

  15. Well deserved win by Derry I’m afraid for Mayo this year nothing being learned on pitch or sideline

  16. Have to place it as a missed opportunity. Some players not at their best today.

    Need to learn how to close out games against 14 men.

  17. Toothless performance – a lot of work to be put in over the coming months if this team is going to push on. Todays performance was certainly not the statement of intent that we were looking for. Fair play to Derry they had the hunger, strength and leaders on the field to grind out a victory despite the setback of the red card in the first half – very impressive.

  18. Ran outta steam in the final 10 minutes. Having said that we had the opportunities to put Derry away prior to that, especially against 14 men. Very worrying though that even with an extra defender Derry were able to walk through us. They scored on nearly every attack even with 14 men. And then pulled away in the final 10 minutes because they were fresher after last week.

    Sideline introductions made no difference for us. Some were baffling really. FF line were very ineffective in second half. Derry full back got MOTM (deserved). Is everyone going to defend them again by saying ball in was poor ?

  19. Absolutely. Watching that game you couldn’t help feel that you were watching a Mayo team on the road too long, tired and stale with no dynamism. If you asked a stranger to start watching at half time on TV and for him to tell you who had the spare man he would say Derry, not Mayo. That says it all really. Very disappointing

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