Mayo manager James Horan admitted his side were not good enough as they fell to defeat against Kerry, leaving last year's Allianz League champions embroiled in a Division 1 relegation battle.

Despite a fight-back in the second half that left the gap at just one point at full-time, Mayo were left counting the cost of a poor start to the game.

Horan told RTÉ Sport that despite the chance to earn a draw from the game in the final stages, that would not have been reflective of the rest of his team's performance.

"We had a chance at the end to level it but if you reflect on the whole game, our start and our performance in the first half, what we had expected wasn't good enough," he said.

"We ultimately paid for that. I think we went 1-06 to 0-02 down when we had the breeze, so that's not good enough.

"We were standing off a little bit and that ultimately probably cost us the game. As I said, we could have got a draw but over the 70 minutes, we have got to be doing more than that consistently."

But he also outlined the positive change that led to a much-improved second half.

Peter Keane with how Kerry got out of the gate early on

"We tried a few guys on that have great mobility," said Horan.

"Eoghan McLaughlin came on and did very well and ultimately everyone just lifted it up a little bit and ran at them a little bit, whereas in the first half we were standing off."

Meanwhile, Kerry manager Peter Keane described the final outcome as "tight" and was not surprised to see Mayo run them close towards the end.

"We got off to a great start against the wind and created a lot of openings in the first half," he said.

"We were reasonably happy going in at half-time, albeit we conceded two frees just before half-time when we were nine up and that brought it back to seven.

"Mayo, we knew they would come back at us but they continued that little purple patch just before half-time into the second half and momentum is a big thing then."

But he pointed to his players' growing "resilience" giving him confidence that they would see out the win.