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James Horan: “They Were Physical, They Bullied Us A Little Bit”

Mayo boss, James Horan, cut a dejected figure last night following his sides eight-point defeat to Dublin at Croke Park.

The Westerners were second best from start to finish on a night where their goalkeeper, Rob Hennelly, was easily their stand-out player scoring two points and making six point-blank saves.

Following the performance, Horan lamented the number of turnovers Mayo conceded throughout a first-half display that he described as tentative, whilst complimenting a Dublin side who Horan believes, bullied Mayo on the night.

“I just thought we were tentative and we stood off right from the start, we didn’t have any composure, we had 18 or so attacks in the first half and we gave 11 turnovers out of 18 so, it doesn’t matter who you’re playing, if you play like we started tonight you’ll get beaten.” Horan said.

“Dublin on the opposite side were very good, they were physical, they bullied us a little bit and yeah it was simple as that, we got what we deserved, we were probably lucky not to get beaten by more.

“I just thought we were a little bit off it today, we were off the pace so, if you keep giving turnovers like I just said you’re going to be under pressure. I thought our one on one defending was actually very good considering the amount of turnovers we gave. Yeah, there’s always a reason, for one thing, like that. We just gave the ball away too much, we were the authors of our own doom there.”

Mayo hit 14 wides on the night and dropped multiple balls short. Horan admitted it was a poor return citing the lack of conviction in some of their play. He is adamant though that despite the comprehensive beating, they can learn from it and bounce back in Round Five.

“We were poor, we hadn’t conviction in our shots, we had twenty-something shots, you know, any stats you want but when you are a little bit off all those stats go, we were off on a lot of little things and all that kind of added up to us getting a fairly comprehensive beating tonight.

“Some of the shots we took weren’t the right shots, then I don’t know, did we fully commit to the shots? You know, we were hoping to go over as opposed to getting a really, really strong good connection on it, so yeah, but look, we’ll have a chat about it and we’ll move on very quickly, we’ll take it and learn and let’s go again next weekend.”

Mayo received two black cards on the evening through Lee Keegan and Seamus O’Shea, however, Dublin’s Jonny Cooper escaped with just a yellow following a foul on Jason Doherty that led to Mayo’s penalty.

Horan felt a lot of decisions went against his side on the night, in particular, the decision not to send Cooper to the bin for ten minutes.

“Absolutely I thought it was a black card.  Look we were off, we were off in the first half, in particular, I thought a lot of the decisions went against us as well, we missed a penalty and I thought it was a black card for the penalty as well, we didn’t get it, but Dublin got two, you know all that kind of stuff all adds up.”

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