After a facile win over New York, Mayo footballers extended their stay in the Big Apple for a few days.

It was, in the words of manager James Horan, "a very enjoyable couple of days away where we got a few training sessions in and had a a talk about a few things".

Listening to Horan speaking to RTÉ GAA Correspondent Brian Carthy, you get the sense that he is at the helm of a very focussed group ahead of Saturday's Connacht SFC semi-final against Roscommon at MacHale Park.

"Some of my attention before was directed at stuff that wasn't important but I think I have a better balance now on what I need to focus on that will best help the team," he sad.

"The team have a huge amount of experience and knowledge of top level sport and if you don't use that experience you're daft.

"It's just about working together to see where we want to go and what we can achieve.

"All we are trying to do now is to wrap it up in a big performance against Roscommon. It's a challenge we're genuinely looking forward to."

Horan also hailed the contribution his captain Diarmuid O'Connor has made in a season where the Green and Red claimed the Division 1 league title, while adding that the 24-year will be ready for action this weekend after missing the New York game with an eye injury. 

"You might think he's quiet but he's one of those guys that is very impressive when he speaks"

"Diarmuid got a bang in training. It was a case of safety first so he got it checked out. He had to miss the New York trip, but now he's raring to go now.

"If you're looking for a player that's all about the team, selfless, humble and has a ferocious appetite for workrate, then that's what Diarmuid represents. They are key components that any sports team in the world would love to have in one of their leaders.

"You might think he's quiet but he's one of those guys that is very impressive when he speaks. It's a great assurance for the team knowing that your captain every day he laces up the boots will give everything he has.

"That's a great confidence booster before you go out for a game. That's why he is captain of the team."

As manager, Horan has yet to taste a championship defeat at the hands of Roscommon, but is expecting a stern challenge from Anthony Cunningham's "robust" outfit in Castlebar.

"Every game you play against Roscommon is hard, it's tough. Sometimes it's dour as were some of the games when I was last involved.

"This year in the league we played in the wind and rain in Castlebar, a tough, physical encounter.

"With Anthony Cunningham this year, Roscommon are really strong, focussed, a robust side that are really pushing hard.

"I think their conditioning has come on very well and the ran very strong through Leitrim. They are dominant in the middle of the field and have a half-back line that launches attack after attack.

"Inside with Diarmuid Murtagh back they have another option along with Conor Cox. They have threat and danger everywhere."  

Follow all the football action this weekend via our live blogs on RTÉ.ie/sport and the News Now app, listen to live updates on RTÉ Radio 1 and watch highlights on The Sunday Game on RTÉ2 at 9.30pm.