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Horan: Mayo will improve ahead...
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Horan: Mayo will improve ahead of another final with Dublin

Jake O'Donnell
Jake O'Donnell

19:13 6 Dec 2020

Firing their way to a 5-20 to 3-13 win over Tipperary in Sunday's All-Ireland semi-final, Mayo will be even better for the final against Dublin later this month, according to their manager James Horan. 

Cillian O'Connor inspired Mayo's win with a personal tally of 4-09 at Croke Park, to secure the westerners' fifth final in nine years.

Speaking after the match, Horan picked faults in how his side started the semi-final against Tipperary.

"We started very poorly and gave away a couple of goal chances that David [Clarke] did well to keep out, and even the goal we conceded in the first half was very poor.

"So we had a rocky enough start. But, I thought, when we got settled and put pressure on Tipp, I thought we looked very, very strong and organised and we scored heavily during that period which gave us the lead."

However, despite praising the impact of his full-forward line, Horan was eager to focus on improving rather than on what his side did well.

"When you win an All-Ireland semi-final comprehensively it's always good but there's lots of stuff for us to check out, for sure.

"It's a huge, huge challenge for us but that's what we like. These guys are really ambitious and you know every time you go out is a challenge of yourself and your standards.

"We let ourselves down a little bit in the second half today regards to that but we'll look at it and, as we have done in every game, we'll certainly improve between now and the final and we'll give it our best account.

Asked by OTB Sports' John Duggan whether Mayo were peaking at just the right time ahead of the final on December 19th, Horan stressed that his side still had a "huge amount to go".

"I think we are on the right track, it's hard to say how much we will improve between now and the final but we will look at a lot of things and tighten up here and there and tweak a few things.

"Hopefully, [we'll] play better again in the final than we did today and see where that takes us."

If Mayo are to lift Sam Maguire for the first time since 1951, the performance of O'Connor could be crucial in stopping Dublin's march for a sixth consecutive title.

"He knows how to score. Some of the points he got today were excellent," Horan said of the Ballintubber man.

"We know he's a good free-taker and he's an eye for goal so if we can get him the supply he is a dangerous player."

For Dublin, stopping that supply will be priority number one.

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All Ireland Football Final Cillian O'Connor Dublin GAA James Horan Mayo GAA Tipperary GAA

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