Mayo’s stricken captain Andy Moran has said he has put his injury disappointment behind them in order to support his team-mates ahead of the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship final on Sunday.
Moran led the Westerners to the Connacht crown, but he suffered a season-ending cruciate knee ligament in their All-Ireland quarter-final win over Down.
But the Ballaghaderreen clubman is refusing to wallow in self-pity, and has been on hand to offer any advice the younger members of the Mayo squad may seek ahead of the clash with Donegal.
“I suppose since it happened on the August Bank Holiday weekend it’s been a tough five or six weeks for me, but I’m getting over it now and I'm just trying to help the team as much as I can really,” Moran said.
“When you get injured you can’t think personally about it. It’s still a team effort and you have to do what’s best for the team.
“I think over the last couple of weeks all the guys have helped me and I hope I’ve been no distraction to them.”
The All-Star forward is expecting a close encounter at Headquarters, and reckons the winner will simply be the side that performs better on the day.
“I’ve played with a lot of the Donegal lads in Sligo IT so I’d know quite a few of them,” Moran said.
“Everyone is on about tactics and various things like that, but next Sunday is going to be all about football and the team that goes out and execute their game plan the right way."
“When you get injured you can’t think personally about it. It’s still a team effort" - Andy Moran
He added: “If we go out and take our chances I think we are going to be in with a great chance to win near the end of the game. If Donegal go out and do the same it’s going to be a very tight game and hopefully it is a good spectacle for the crowd to watch.”
The pairing of Mayo and Donegal is the final is a novel one to say the least, but Moran believes both sides’ progression is a positive sign for the future of Gaelic football.
“I think over the past couple of years everyone could see that there was a chance there for teams to break through. I think Tyrone kind of proved that in 2003, but Kerry are that good of a team that they just kept coming back here every year.
“So it’s good now that it has eventually happened that two teams have got there. I think it’s good for football. It’s definitely good for football in Mayo. And judging by the reaction in Donegal, it’s definitely good for football there. So, nationwide, it seems to be a very productive Championship really.”