Much has been said about Mayo's resilience in coming back year after year from the depths of despair.

After their thumping by Kerry in the 2006 All-Ireland final, journalist Colm Keys, when asked what the future now holds for the side promptly replied on RTÉ's The Championship programme: "They'll be back, they'll enter the championship next year and have another go at it."

It's common sense to say that's all they can do.

Dublin and Mayo players shake hands before the 2017 final

Since that defeat in '06, which ended the short reign of Mickey Moran, Mayo have contested four All-Ireland finals and on Saturday next will line up again in another decider against the Dubs.

It's another opportunity to finally win Sam, to finally banish the hurt. It won't be easy.

Dublin, now free from any pressure that went with achieving five in a row, look even more in harmony under Dessie Farrell.

Still, in a year that has produced a few championship shocks, Mayo will believe.

You wouldn't expect anything else. James Horan has done a lot right so far in his second coming. A Division 1 title, reaching an All-Ireland semi-final and regaining the Connacht crown after a five-year wait, are pluses. 

Relegation to Division 2 at the end of October was a disappointment, but not the end of the world.

Back to the positives and the likes of Oisín Mullin, Eoghan McLaughlin, Bryan Walsh, Ryan O'Donoghue, Jordan Flynn and Tommy Conroy, getting their chance to shine.

 Tommy Conroy passes to Cillian O'Connor to set-up the first goal against Tipperary in the All-Ireland semi-final

The latter, along with Aidan O'Shea and Cillian O'Connor, make up a full-forward line with potency. A line of such quality would surely have ended their All-Ireland wait back in the 90s.

Horan, speaking at a virtual press briefing in advance of next Saturday's showdown, cuts a relaxed figure.

On his increased options up front, he said: "I think we've more options this year than we've had before, that's probably the easiest way to say it.

"Mark Moran had a knock, he's coming back from injury, he has scored heavy for us this year. We've some other players, Ryan (O'Donoghue) has come in and done well, Tommy (Conroy) is scoring heavy for us.

"We've more options and some to come off the bench as well.

"Darren Coen came on the last day and he was a heavy scorer in Mayo club football this season. So we have more options in very simple terms which is a great place to be in."

In last year's All-Ireland semi-final, Mayo, after dominating much of the first-half, were undone by a Dubs surge on the resumption, eventually losing by ten points.

"We did a lot of good thing on that day," Horan recalled.

And it's true that Mayo did many good things against Tipperary in the semi-final, in spite of concerns that they left themselves too open at the back.

David Clarke gets don to save from Michael Quinlivan

Tipp's ability to cut through the Mayo defence was evident early on. If Dublin are allowed such leeway in the early minutes on Saturday, then the final could be over early on.

Still, Horan is accentuating a high-risk reward.

"I think the way we play, we take calculated risks," he added.

"We've a lot of threats, a lot of danger in our team and we try to utilise that. So we're in good shape physically, we're an athletic team, there's power there"

"We think it's how we play best and our best chance of winning games and that's what we'll do. You see a lot of teams that don't take risks and play it safe, I don't know if they have a chance of winning with that mindset.

"We know what we're about, where we're strong and we'll go after that. There's no doubt about that.

"There's a lot that we're trying to add to our game as well and bit by bit that's coming together as well.

"We've a lot of threats, a lot of danger in our team and we try to utilise that. So we're in good shape physically, we're an athletic team, there's power there.

"When you get all that into the mix and get the ratio right we're a seriously strong team. So we'll be looking to play like that again."

Confident words indeed from the manager.

At crucial stages in the '16 and '17 finals, Mayo looked like they had it in them to push on. They didn't.

"Keeping our foot to the floor when we are going well," was also emphasised by Horan.

That and more will be required if Mayo are to finally get their hands on Sam.    

Watch the All-Ireland senior football final between Dublin and Mayo live on RTÉ2 from 3.40pm Saturday, listen to live commentary on RTÉ Radio 1 or follow our live blog on RTÉ Sport Online and the RTÉ News app. Highlights on The Saturday Game (9.55 pm RTÉ2).

Follow All-Ireland senior football final between Dublin and Cork with our live blog on RTÉ Sport Online and the RTÉ News app (from 3pm Sunday) or listen to live commentary on RTÉ Radio 1. Highlights on The Sunday Game (9.30 pm RTÉ2).