Sligo lament simple errors

Following a Connacht final defeat that players and management universally termed ‘disappointing’, Mark Breheny took a drop of encouragement from the fact that Sligo have almost a fortnight to prepare for round four of the All-Ireland football qualifiers.

Two years ago when Sligo lost to Roscommon in the provincial decider, they were out again six days later against Down.

Breheny, still an influential figure for Kevin Walsh’s team, is hopeful that the extra time on this occasion will allow them prepare with greater focus.

“The only plus side of this is that we will get another crack in the qualifiers. I think it is good that we have a two week break compared to a couple of years ago in 2010 when we only had six days to get ready to play Down. We’ll regroup to give it a good lash for the qualifiers, that is all we can do.”

The Sligo star pinpointed a lack of composure at key times as a reason for the defeat.

“I think we competed very well at times and I thought we did match them in certain sectors, but unfortunately they just got the vital scores at the end.

“The breeze did help them kick from a little bit further out, but you can never blame the breeze for a defeat. We probably just lacked a bit of composure at the end, and that was the vital difference. With about 12 minutes to go we were a point up, but we probably just lacked that bit of composure in the vital sector of the game which might have killed them off.”

Manager Walsh felt that Sligo’s execution let them down, especially when Mayo were reduced to 14 men.

“I would be disappointed with most aspects of our game. We were kicking ball down the extra man’s throat in the first half. Our first-time handling was poor, and a few hand passes went astray in vital sections of the pitch. Simple 10-yard hand passes were not carried out. We were doing things very well against Galway and in the latter stages of the league.

“With five minutes to go we had Mayo on the ropes, but we were making mistakes. In fairness to Mayo they had a lot of wides and maybe with better accuracy they will give it a real go. That is a good Mayo side. They will have fancied themselves all year to get to the top four or maybe even the final. We always knew it was going to be an uphill battle.”

Though this was a setback Sligo can earn a place in the last eight by winning their round four qualifier and Walsh wants the panel to react.

“It is a decision now, do we drop the heads or do we try to get into the quarter-final at Croke Park? That would be new territory for Sligo.

“In the next two weeks it will be hard to lift it, but we will meet and see what needs to be done to lift it.”

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