RTÉ GAA analyst Éamonn Fitzmaurice argues that Mayo and Kerry will have radically different approaches heading into the final two rounds of the Allianz League.
Having presided over another league and championship double in 2022, Jack O'Connor watched his side ship a third successive defeat on the road in Omagh on Sunday afternoon.
In a congested top tier, Kerry sit on four points alongside Tyrone and Monaghan (the latter in the drop zone currently) and one ahead of Donegal.
While Fitzmaurice is confident the Kingdom can iron out their current problems, he suggests they may be forced to engage in a bit more introspection than last year.
"I don't think Kerry will have foreseen being in this situation," Fitzmaurice said on the RTÉ GAA podcast.
"That game against Roscommon, it's a huge game because if you were to get turned over at home - and it doesn't happen too often that Kerry lose home league games - then you're going up to Galway on the last day to try and get something.
"Depending on Galway's need, that could be very hard. Galway could have a bit of revenge on their mind from last summer.
"Mayo are in a great place and they're able to do that... They'll be working on conceding them late goals [against Roscommon] and managing the game late. They'll probably have a couple of scenarios in training over the next couple of weeks.
"Whereas for Kerry, it's different conversations. There's a lot more to fix. And they can fix it in a very short space of time, don't get me wrong. And I expect them to fix it. But at the same time, you're digging, you're digging a small bit.
"I remember Jack saying after the league last year, that they did very little in the way of video analysis. They had very few meetings. They didn't need to. Because of the way they were playing. And you could visibly see the team grow in confidence as they went on.
"Whereas I imagine they are having meetings at the moment and there probably is a bit of video being played. It's a different dynamic. And it's part of it. And it's part of a different journey that they're on this year.
"They'll need a big reaction against Roscommon. But I would expect them to (deliver it), especially with the two-week gap and the bit of down-time. Because they've had two long journeys the last couple of weeks, this will give them a bit of time to re-charge the batteries."
.@efitz6 reckons Kerry will be looking at a lot more tape than they did in last year's league as they 'dig' to ensure their safety— RTÉ GAA (@RTEgaa) March 6, 2023
Or wherever... https://t.co/12rlCO45dF pic.twitter.com/2QowEyVjbs
Fitzmaurice contrasted Kerry's situation with Mayo, who are in rude health and sitting on top of Division 1.
Kevin McStay's side are likely bound for a league final - an arguably dubious prize given its proximity to the first round of the Connacht championship - following their two-point win over Roscommon in a spicy encounter in Hyde Park.
"I think Mayo are just in a great spot. When you're changing your team from a position of strength. And you're leaving out form players, the likes of Aidan O'Shea, the likes of Ryan O'Donoghue, the likes of Reape in goal, that's a great place to be. And you're bringing in other players to give them a go. And they've all done well.
"Cillian O'Connor looked very sharp, in fairness to Tommy Conroy, it was great to see him back. That direct running style, he made a couple of those darts and you could see he was gasping a bit.
"The final piece was they got the fright at the end. And you can be sure they'll be working on this, but they're working on it from a position of strength. They won the game but they'll be saying, lads, we've to work on this.
"They remind me very much of Kerry this time last year. Everything they're doing is building towards something major for the championship. I'd imagine it's a very positive place to be and a very enjoyable place to be for players and management.
"I'd imagine it's a very positive place to be for both players and management."
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