Mayo manager Stephen Rochford believes his side are heading in the right direction following their hard-fought victory over Clare at Cusack Park.
Rochford’s side battled back from a half-time deficit to overcome a well-organised and energetic Clare side 2-14 to 0-13 to advance to the next round of the championship qualifiers.
And while Rochford was happy to see the character shown by his side in the second period of the Ennis encounter, the Mayo manager believes that there is more to come from his team going into the latter stages of this year’s football Championship.
"When you are coming through the qualifiers there is a certain amount of relief," admitted Rochford after the game, speaking to RTE Sport.
"We weren’t anywhere near where we wanted to be in the first half, but thankfully we only went in at half-time two points down and we were probably lucky to be only two points down.
"We set ourselves a target of getting the first score [in the second half] and from there we kicked on and we got a goal at a real early part of that third quarter, and I think that ignited that second half performance.
"I think you saw more of what we’re about in the second half. I don’t think we were at our best but I think we are moving in the right direction."
And Rochford heaped praise on the Clare side who put his side under real pressure in the opening period, which perhaps caught his side sleeping a little early on, following last weekend’d epic victory over Derry, where Mayo needed extra time to advance.
"They played with a super tempo and maybe there was a little bit of lag from the game and a half last week," said Rochford.
"But that would have been no excuse. Clare played all the best football in the first half. We didn’t attack the ball
"We needed to play at a higher pace and that included attacking the ball and looking to play on the front foot without tackling."
Rochford believes that it was his half-forward line, along with man of the match Aidan O’Shea that propelled last year’ All-Ireland finalists to the victory.
"I thought our half-forward line really stepped up their game in the second half and Kevin [McLoughlin] and Aidan and Diarmuid [O’Connor] put in a really big shift in that third quarter and they gave us the platform in the right area of the field to drive on.
"The last week has been tough and it was really warm out there. The draw is Monday so we’ll know who we have when we get back on the field on Tuesday night so we’ll prepare from there."