Seamus O’Shea admits he baulks when he hears people blame referees for Mayo’s 2014 and ’15 All-Ireland semi-final replay defeats.
In an interview carried in the Irish Examiner’s Allianz Leagues preview supplement tomorrow, the midfielder dismisses the notion that officials Cormac Reilly and Eddie Kinsella played a part in the county’s downfall in the Gaelic Grounds and Croke Park games.
Reilly was criticised for his handling of Mayo’s loss to Kerry in Limerick two years ago, while Kinsella black-carded O’Shea for an incident involving Jonny Cooper that appeared a yellow card offence.
O’Shea won’t apportion responsibility for Mayo’s demise on either referee. “I don’t take any notice of that and if ever I hear somebody blaming a referee for losing an All-Ireland final or losing something, it drives me insane,” he said.
“You’ve plenty of opportunities to win a game. It’s up to yourself. I certainly wouldn’t be blaming anybody for our shortcomings over the last number of years.
“We’ve had our opportunities. We’ve won some big ones, we’ve lost some big ones, and the ones we’ve lost there’s plenty we could have done better to win the game regardless of what happens besides.”
O’Shea believes Mayo could have performed better in both matches. “You can blame a decision or a moment all you want but ultimately I look back on all those games and the first thing I think about is what I or the team could have done better,” he said.
“People mention that Kerry game quite a bit but we had chances to win that game. We put ourselves in positions to win the game. I don’t know were we six or seven points up in the first half? We also had chances to win in extra-time but we didn’t take them. You can’t blame other people for that.
“Similarly with the Dublin game last year, whatever I think about the [black card] decision, ultimately I did something stupid so I can’t blame anybody.”
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