By James McMahon
Mayo manager James Horan has stressed that failure is not part of the team’s vocabulary as they target Connacht and All-Ireland success.
Horan was speaking in the aftermath of Sunday's comprehensive win over Galway in the Connacht SFC quarter-final tie at Pearse Stadium.
When asked by RTÉ Sport’s Joanne Cantwell as to whether or not there was an open discussion about making sure the team don't fail in their quest to follow up on last year's exploits, Horan was emphatic in his response.
He said: "We don’t mention failure too much in our vocabulary. Our aim is to improve in every single game we play. We struggled at times during the league, but knew we were in decent shape and we weren't going to panic. The nature of the win against Galway means that everybody will be bouncing at training this week."
The first-half showing in Salthill, where Mayo built up a 3-09 to 0-06 half-time advantage, was particularly pleasing for Horan.
He explained: "We started the game with real intent and application and that’s what set up the victory. The work rate and turnovers from our forwards underlined our passion. That aggressive approach pinned Galway back and we capitalised on a few of their errors for goals.
"In the second half Galway’s discipline went a bit – that can happen – but overall we’re delighted to get, what was in the end, a comprehensive victory."
RTÉ Sport panellists were all unanimous in praise of Mayo, with Colm O’Rourke saying their focus will not surprisingly be geared towards the August Bank Holiday weekend.
“James Horan will make sure that his team are primed for the All-Ireland quarter-finals. He will hope that a full-strength side will be available to him by then.
“After their rout of Galway, expectations of another run to the All-Ireland final will now be foremost in the minds of Mayo fans. However, Horan will have to tailor the training regime so that they will peak later in the summer and not slip up along the way. They have a problem in that regard, but it’s a nice problem to have.”
Joe Brolly believes that Horan will not allow his players be sidetracked by All-Ireland talk just yet.
“The players have faith in Horan because he brought them this far. It’s Roscommon up next and then more than likely a Connacht final after that.
According to Pat Spillane, the character of the reigning Connacht champions is something that marks them out from previous sides: “They are very resilient bunch, mentally strong and are not dwelling on past failures and wallowing in self pity.
“They are only interested in delivering an All-Ireland final and anything else is a failure.”