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James Horan looks to positives...
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James Horan looks to positives as Mayo face into league relegation battle

Ann-Marie Donelan
Ann-Marie Donelan

18:12 1 Mar 2020

Mayo manager James Horan says there are positives that can be taken out of their one-point loss to Kerry in Division One of the Allianz National Football League today. 

The 1-14 to 1-13 result in MacHale Park means that his side has a relegation battle on their hands with just two rounds left.

Speaking to Off The Ball at full-time, the Green and Red boss was keen to point out that there were some satisfying elements to their game.

"There was a lot of good things in the second half. Equally though the first half was poor from our side.

"We stood off too much and we let Kerry play and were second fiddle in a lot of things - breaking ball and kick-outs. They're areas that we're usually pretty strong on so that was disappointing.

"Our return on shots taken was poor in the first half. We didn't take the chances when they did arise. We let Kerry get into a very strong position."

Horan went on to further stress the importance of their strong second-half showing and the impact that players coming on made.

"The subs who came on did very well and everyone just upped it a little bit, it'd be great to get that from the start of the game.

"There were a lot of good performances, just the first half for us will be disappointing - how tentative we were.

"A lot of guys stood up and I thought Diarmuid O'Connor throughout tried to rally the troops and do an awful lot of work.

"There are very good players and we're disappointed how we played in the 70 minutes and in some previous performances but we've got a chance in two weeks to take on a Galway team that's obviously in form and we'll work really hard to get ready for that."

Mayo

And that clash in two weeks time on Sunday 15th March at Pearse Stadium against neighbours Galway couldn't be more important for Horan's side.

They head into the tie, which always proves to be a tasty affair, in a relegation battle - needing three points from their last two games.

They're currently second from bottom of the table, just three points ahead of already relegated Meath.

Galway then couldn't be in a better position - they're top of the table and a point ahead of Kerry with Pádraic Joyce's side winning four of their five games.

Horan says the next two weeks will be vital as they prepare to face their biggest rivals but it's also important not to over analyse where they are at this point of the season.

"We have some players coming back and we've some new guys in that have done well so there's a lot of things that will come together in the next two weeks.

"It's early in the year, there are tough conditions out there.

"We're doing a lot of work on various aspects of our game. Some are working, some of them aren't so we'll have a look at those but overall we're trying to build and I'm happy that we are building in some areas.

"Nothing is the be-all and end-all, we've got to develop and improve what we're doing and try and win some more games and we'll definitely be doing that but what happens happens, we're trying to build.

"We've a lot of young new guys in, we should be doing better than what we're doing so we'll work on that for the next two weeks."

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