You wouldn’t have thought his team had just won a Provincial final by 22 points judging from his down-beat expression but Mayo manager James Horan was reasonably happy with his side’s demolition of Leitrim in McHale Park.
“Happy to get through it,” Horan told the Observer, “We did a few good things during the course of the game and ran out comfortable winners in the end. It took us a while to get going, maybe the first ten or 15 minutes we looked very sluggish but when we got to the tempo that we can, we looked dangerous.”
As the last team to enter the championship, James felt that Mayo used the time to ensure that no shock would happen in Castlebar – “We used the eight weeks to prepare well , we got enough of a scare last year over in Ruislip to be a little bit smarter than that.
“That helped us this year in preparing for the game, we ran out comfortable winners so we’re happy with that. It crosses everyone’s mind, of course it does because there is an element of you don’t know when you haven’t played a high tempo game for so long.
“So that doubt is there but we prepare well and were confident of what we could do and we came through in the end.”
The impact of subs Conor Mortimer, Michael Conroy, Enda Varley and Ronan McGarrity pleased the Mayo manager and the competition for places is heating up – “We have subs, in particular upfront, that are doing very, very well. We’ve the two O’Sheas to get back into the mix around the middle.
“At the moment, there is good competition there that is essential. You can look at it a number of ways, that is easy to come onto a team that is so dominant. They guys who came on looked very very sharp which is pleasing and our games are next weekend and training will be very competitive.
“There are club games next weekend, they’ll go back to their clubs towards the end of the week and then we’ll get them back again. Everyone that came on did very strong and that will help training during the week and as we prepare for the Connacht Final.
“There was a lot of ring rustiness out there, a lot of mistakes and we could have scored heavier, made quite a few mistakes and we want to reduce some of those and work on the good things.”