McEntee hails Meath’s positive mental attitude

Andy McEntee hailed the distinct mental edge that put his Meath minor team within an hour of an unexpected All-Ireland title success.

Few gave the Royal County much of a chance of reviving their season after losing the Leinster final heavily to Dublin. But wins over Tyrone and Mayo, both courtesy of late goals, have shown their deep substance.

“At six, seven or eight points down today, we could have went, ‘Here we go again, it’s the same as the game against Dublin’,” said manager McEntee.

“But we kept doing the right things. I guess the mental side of things is working well and that’s very important. It was something that Sean Boylan had over the years in his teams, that ‘we don’t give up’ and that’s what we’re trying to do too.”

McEntee outlined the psychological benefits of their latest win ahead of their first All-Ireland final at this grade since 2002.

“They’ll start to believe in themselves a little bit more now,” he continued.

“Things like that give you a bit of momentum and there can be a snowball effect. You’d like to think that this year or next year, whenever these guys are stuck, they’ll be able to dig in and say that, regardless of what happens I’m not giving up, because they know it pays.”

McEntee refused to speculate on a potential All-Ireland final against Dublin, the team that hammered them in the provincial final. “It’s Dublin or Kerry. Dublin are probably favourites. But I don’t care.”

Mayo boss Tony Duffy praised his players despite the defeat.

“They were written off several times this year and even today, they weren’t fully expected to win but they’re a good bunch of lads,” said Duffy.

“We didn’t reach the heights that we reached against Tipperary, in terms of attacking football. That’s the most disappointing aspect because we wanted a performance and probably didn’t get one.”

Asked about the controversial foot block call for the late penalty that swung the game in Meath’s direction, McEntee said it was his instinct that the decision was wrong but couldn’t say for certain.

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