Mayo captain Andy Moran says it is a myth that his side need more scoring forwards if they are to finally end their All-Ireland famine next year.
Moran said their score of 1-14 in this year’s All-Ireland would have been enough to win most finals and he has vowed they will deliver next year.
But his side were quickly putting the latest heartbreak behind them, even though the 2-12 to 1-14 loss to Dublin was their seventh All-Ireland final defeat since 1996, and he believes they have the forwards to deliver their first crown since 1951.
“If people gave us 1-14 before the All-Ireland final we’d have probably taken it. That’s 17 points. It’s unusual but in the two league games before against Dublin they outscored us by two or three scores. We outscored them by one score in the final, but they got two goals. I suppose the creation of goals was the difference this time — they created five and we only created one.
“But the myth about scoring forwards, it’s complete myth. There are plenty of them in Mayo and there is plenty of them in that Mayo panel. And we can’t wait to go out and prove that next year,” said Moran.
Moran’s assertion about 1-14 winning most finals holds true as only twice before has a team scored more than 17 points and lost. Cork beat Galway by 3-17 to 2-13 in 1973, while Kerry beat Meath by 2-19 to 0-18 in the 1970 final. On two other occasions a team has accumulated 17 points and lost, with Kerry going down by 0-17 to 1-15 in the infamous 1982 decider, while Meath hit 1-14 against Down in 1991 but lost as the Ulster side scored 1-16.
Moran said he sat down and watched the loss to Dublin on the Tuesday night after the game and said it was necessary to analyse it to see where they went wrong.
“I always think you can learn from games. On a personal level I didn’t play too many games last year. I probably played in total, the minutes of four or five games in the total of 2013. I’m learning from that straight away.
“In terms of a team, I think you have to look at it, and you have to see why the Dubs got that lead. I know other guys wouldn’t look at it but that’s the way I deal with it and get over things. I’ve watched it a few times,” he added.
Moran said he was confident James Horan would stay on as manager but admitted there was a doubt right up until the Ballintubber man confirmed he would remain a few weeks ago.
“I think it’s probably a bigger commitment for a manager to be honest. Management is 24-7, but when I’m a player I just have to deal with myself and maybe help out a few others around me. James has to deal with 30 or 32 players at all times. He has to look after a highly-skilled backroom team as well which is a tough job as well in any field.
“But then when you are quality manager with Coca-Cola and with four or five young kids at home, it makes it a bit more difficult as well. It’s massive commitment, and we are just delighted he is staying on.
“I think until James said ‘yes I am coming back’ there is always a doubt there because you don’t know what is going to happen.
“He just had to iron a few issues out, the bit about the backroom team and things like that. After that I think it was great the way we got such a backing from the county board and all the players are behind him.
“It was brilliant when he announced it last week,” added Moran.
He said the All-Ireland win by the minors helped lift the gloom but they were now looking forward, not back.
“We’ll probably go through a review soon and we’ll go through it and where we can improve for 2014. We’re looking forward to ’14, we’re building on things,” added Moran.
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