Victorious Donegal manager Jim McGuinness spoke of his relief and his team’s anticipation of Mayo’s determination following his side’s All-Ireland success.
McGuinness was talking to RTÉ’s Brian Carty and said: “It’s a great relief. I’m just delighted for the players really that the work they put in has resulted in a performance and the Sam Maguire is coming back on the bus with us which is the most important thing.”
McGuinness then spoke of the performance of Michael Murphy saying: “Well we were hoping for it you know. He was showing all the signs in training and for that reason we wanted to get the ball into him and we got some good quality ball in in the first quarter.
“The second quarter we probably forced a few balls and forced our running game aswell, we coughed up a bit of possession that we normally wouldn’t and took Mayo back into the game - they were good enough and intelligent enough to capitalise on that.
“The game squeezed then towards the half time break so it was important for us to try and get them settled down again and refocus them on what was important, what had taken us to the final and I think when we done that we were a lot more composed in the second half and had a lot more shape about us and also a lot more composure on the ball.
“And I think we did control the game fairly well thankfully when it was all said and done we got over the line and got the result we wanted.
When asked if McGuinness felt Mayo could win it at any stage during the second he replied: “I did yeah , definitely. I mean the game went down to the wire, even in the last minute or so the game was still in the melting pot.
“They had pushed Aidan O’Shea into the edge of the square and there was an outlet there for them late on in the game and they were putting in some good quality ball and there was a bit of goal mouth activity going on. Our lads made some good clearances , particularly Eamon Mcgee once or twice and Michael Murphy so it was all there to be played for right up until the death.”
McGuinnesss then praised Mayo for their fight and determination, saying. “We knew that (fight) was going to be there going into the game. And I think we were very well prepared for that to be honest with you.
"We knew that (fight) was going to be there going into the game. And I think we were very well prepared for that to be honest with you"
“I think that was one of the reasons we got over the line at the end. We knew Mayo weren’t going to give up. We knew that they had turned a corner at the beginning of the year and were going to be competitive down to the wire.”
When asked to explain his feelings at the final whistle when Donegal secured their second ever All-Ireland title McGuinness replied: “It was more relief than anything you know and then I suppose elation after that.
“The big thing was to see the players and their faces and then obviously the supporters and the noise coming out of the stand was incredible.
"And the number of people that waited for the celebrations to take place all around the stadium – was I suppose that’s something that will live in the memory for the rest of your life really, and for myself personally and for a lot of the players it’s a lifetime ambition.
“And I know a lot of these lads, since they were five and six years of age and maybe younger, watching the last All-Ireland win, dream that this day might happen and I’m just delighted that it has transpired this way for them now.”