Mayo bid to escape the Hurt Locker

Aidan O’Shea concedes Mayo face their greatest challenge in rescuing their season through the qualifiers.
Mayo bid to escape the Hurt Locker

Mayo’s hopes of six consecutive Connacht titles were foiled by Galway in Castlebar in Saturday’s semi-final with no end of criticism coming the way of a group of players who compelled Noel Connelly and Pat Holmes to step down last season.

O’Shea denied he and his team-mates were getting ahead of themselves but admitted getting his hands on the Nestor Cup yet again was an incentive.

“It was driving me. I wanted to keep winning Connacht titles for the rest of the time I was playing for Mayo. It is a big disappointment to not win another Connacht championship. We’d won five-in-a-row, I don’t think any team had won six so it was definitely something I wanted to achieve.

“It’s not going to happen now. We’ve got three weeks to reassess into a shit or bust tie at this stage and we’ve got to put all our energies into that and make sure we get a performance.

“The reality is that the last time we played in a qualifier (against Longford, 2010) it didn’t go too well so we need to make sure we focus all our energies, regardless of who it is and where it is, we’ve got to make sure we perform for 70 minutes and the result will look after itself then.”

The two-time All Star acknowledged this may be a decisive moment in the history of this Mayo side.

“I think from a player point of view, yeah, definitely it’s our biggest challenge. Having not done it before, it’s hard to quantify it at the moment and not knowing who we’re playing it’s obviously hard to focus. So it’s very much on ourselves now and getting ourselves right in a short space of time, which is good.

“We’ve a three-week window now to try to get ourselves back playing good football and enjoying our football again and get a win and get a bit of momentum.”

O’Shea took exception to claims Mayo’s leaders didn’t step up to the plate against Galway.

“To be honest with you, that’s an easy line. I don’t think it has anything to do with the loss on Saturday, we just didn’t perform to a man. Apart from probably (Colm) Boyler who played very well, we didn’t perform to our own individual standards or as a collective. I’m not really too concerned with that line, I’m just concerned with getting back training on Tuesday and getting our minds right.”

Connections have been made between the heave against Connelly and Holmes and this latest setback but O’Shea wasn’t paying much attention to them. “It’s obviously going to come up. It’s not something I can control or the team can control. We parked that a long time ago. It’s not something we’re too worried about.”

Aidan O’Shea was speaking at the launch of Kellogg’s Powering Play nutrition programme for the 100,000+ children taking part in the 2016 Kellogg’s GAA Cúl Camps this summer

More in this section

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.

Sport
Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.