Horan set to stay for another crack at Sam

James Horan is expected to take charge of the Mayo team for a fourth season.

Horan set to stay for another crack at Sam

Horan met with the board chiefs in October entering the last of his initial three-year term to clarify his position and extended the role until the end of the 2014 campaign.

However, he was expected to step down after Sunday’s All-Ireland final due to work and family commitments.

Quizzed by media as the team was leaving the CityWest Hotel on their way to a homecoming reception at MacHale Park yesterday he remained coy on his future.

“No, it’s too nice a day to think about that stuff,” he said.

But the Irish Examiner understands he underwent a change of mind following Sunday’s one-point loss to Dublin.

It is unknown if key members of his backroom team will be in a position to commit with him.

Horan accepted Mayo’s inability to disrupt Stephen Cluxton’s kick-outs and a failure to convert early chances cost them the All-Ireland title.

“I thought we dealt with him very well initially,” he said. “It would have been different if some of the kick-outs were a result of some scores we got as opposed to wides.

“He’s very good at that and you can try to counteract it as much as you can but they probably got stronger throughout the game.

“We made a lot of basic mistakes. We dominated in the first 20 minutes and didn’t get the scores we should have. Then Dublin went down and got a soft goal.

“That kept them in it and they only finished a point down at half-time, so that was a killer. We gave away a lot of our turnover ball throughout the game. We had it, gave it away and Dublin counter-attacked.

“That was very hard to deal with and we used a lot of energy defending when we should have been the guys attacking. We didn’t get the return [of scores] we should have. Some of the easy chances we missed... you don’t win All-Irelands missing those ones.”

What he will do is return to the drawing board in an attempt to plot an All-Ireland win for Mayo following seven successive final losses even though this one hurt more than last year’s defeat to Donegal.

“It probably feels a bit worse,” he said. “I don’t know why but it was harder to take. We had enough possession in the first half to do more damage, we didn’t do it and it eventually caught us out.

“We could have done better but we just didn’t, and that’s disappointing. We prepared very well for the game and used a lot of learnings from last year but still came up a bit short. We have to go back and go at it again, that’s all we can do.”

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