Former Mayo footballer Trevor Mortimer says the series of negative comments from Dublin figures about Lee Keegan shows the champions are rattled going into tomorrow’s All-Ireland final replay.
Several former Dublin players such as Alan Brogan, Ger Brennan and Paul Clarke have all called on the match officials to monitor the Mayo defender’s marking of Diarmuid Connolly.
As part of an extensive interview in tomorrow’s Irish Examiner, Mortimer interprets their concerns as a fear Keegan may once again the better of the St Vincent’s man.
“I’ve enjoyed reading the newspapers this week. Are Dublin questioning themselves? Are they worried? Of course, they’re worried. They and Mayo have played six (SFC) games since 2006 and it’s two wins each and two draws.
“I find it ironic Ger Brennan coming out and trying underhand tactics to raise the attention on the Keegan-Connolly clash.
“It’s a huge compliment to Keegan because Dublin know if Connolly doesn’t perform they’re in trouble and Keegan has the beating of him. It’s very simple.
“Is there contact involved? Yes. Should there be contact involved?
“Yes. If it was the other way around would it be the same? Yes.
“Does Aidan O’Shea get the same up-close borderline, sometimes not good, hard tight defending? He does and more of it.
“Connolly is a fine player, he is Dublin’s best forward and he is a massive influence on the team both from a physical and a psychological point of view. Every day Keegan goes out, he’s got one job to do — keep Connolly out of the game — and he does it.
“Some of it is 50-50 but Dublin also do it. If Connolly is big enough and tough enough he will deal with it and in fairness to him he hasn’t complained about it and I respect that.”
Mortimer maintains there are no hang-ups in Mayo going back to 2006 when they came from behind to defeat them in a classic All-Ireland semi-final.
“Personally, I was delighted we got Dublin in the final. I would prefer Dublin any day of the week as opposed to Kerry. That’s just the way games have turned out against them over the years. A similar thing with Kerry and Tyrone or with Dublin and Kerry, some teams have a hex sign over other teams.
“We always had great games with Dublin. From my experience, I can’t remember losing to Dublin in league or championship. Now, it might have happened but I can’t remember it happening that often. One thing I guarantee is Mayo have no fear of Dublin.”
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