Donegal have led way in physicality, says Mayo manager
All-Ireland champions ‘really ratcheted that up last year’, says James Horan
“Look, we’ve just got to trust the refs that are there, that there’s consistency. I saw Pat McEneaney on Saturday up in Croke Park – I know he’s doing a lot of good work to try and bring some consistency there. Look, we’ll go out and play it that way.”
For the record, Cavan’s Joe McQuillan will referee both counties’ return to Croke Park.
McQuillan was recently subjected to jostling and face to face abuse from Kildare supporters following Tyrone’s qualifier victory in Newbridge, when his Garda escort was unable to shield him from departing supporters in front of the main stand.
McQuillan was unharmed but GAA director general Paraic Duffy took full responsibility for the officials failed exit strategy at St Conleth’s Park.
Horan also stated Mayo have arrive at this season’s All-Ireland quarter-final juncture a stronger squad than 2012.
“I think we’ve a better understanding of our game, and what’s needed to play at the top level. We’ve a lot more experience under our belt.”
The obvious bonus is the fitness of Mayo forwards Andy Moran, Alan Dillon and Cillian O’Connor.
In contrast, Donegal are without McHugh, while footballer of the year Karl Lacey was not deemed fit enough to start against Laois.
Off the ball collisions during Saturday’s 0-14 to 0-8 victory in Carrick-on-Shannon also enraged McGuinness.
“There were a lot of incidents out there where players were trying to get up the field, and were stopped,” he said. “All I can do is give you the facts, and relay to you that there is a fear and anxiety as a manager.
“You don’t want a situation where there’s going to be a very serious injury. It’s going to happen, and I hope that everyone that is involved with the consequences can live with that. Because I know I won’t be able to.”
McGuinness specifically mentioned neck and spinal injuries as a potential consequence.
Meanwhile, Dublin county board chairman Andy Kettle is confident a new sponsor, for all their teams, including camogie and women’sfootball, will be announced in the coming weeks.
“We would hope to have it sorted before the All-Ireland finals,” said Kettle. “The success of both senior teams at the moment is certainly not hindering the process.
“We’ve revamped it a little bit in terms of when Vodafone came in four years ago, they took Dublin footballers; the hurlers have become a definite bonus and what we have negotiated is we have spoken to the Dublin ladies and Dublin camogie, so the whole family will be available to a potential sponsor on this occasion, rather than having the sponsorship diluted by different brands on different jerseys. That’s a first.”