James Horan unsure of his own future as Mayo are full of regrets
‘We just made too many mistakes, too many turnovers. It’s that straightforward’
“We dominated the first 15 minutes but we didn’t get the score return we possibly should have.
“We had too many wides. It was closer at half-time than it should have been. In the second-half, when we were attacking, we just made some poor decisions at times and it eventually cost us.
“We won a lot of frees in the second-half, if you look at it that way. But we didn’t get the return from play that we should have. That game could have gone either way in the end. We just didn’t get there.”
It didn’t help that Alan Freeman had been nursing the flu all week, and lacked his usual energy, that Keith Higgins had to be brought back into his more defensive role, or that Séamus O’Shea was “only playing in spurts”, because Horan knows these aren’t the only reasons why Mayo lost, too.
What Horan does know is that this team, as hard it is, must somehow stay defiant in the face of defeat. He’s got another year of his current term with Mayo, although the decision to see that through is for another day.
“It’s tough, two All-Ireland finals in a row is tough. Some of the mistakes we made today were disappointing. That game was there for the taking for us but we just didn’t take the chances.
“We are making improvements. There’s no doubt about that. But we just didn’t get over the line today.
“But there’s serious calibre in those guys. They’re made of the right stuff so they’ll dust themselves down and go again, there’s no doubt about it.
“Myself, I haven’t a clue at this moment in time. We’ll go away and think about it.”
And Moran, not that was he was ever going to think any other way, holds back the tears and agrees wholeheartedly.
“To be honest, we’re devastated. There were tears in there, in that dressing room. But, you know, we’re in a situation now where the Andy Murray phrase comes out. He was very close to it for a long time but he got over the line in the end. We’re going to keep fighting and we definitely will be back.
“We’ve a very good team. The only problem is that Donegal were a very good team last year, and played a bit better on the day. Dublin are a very good team and played a bit better on the day too.
“Because for us, and I’ll say, our error count was too high, and theirs was probably that little bit lower than ours.
“And in a one point game, after 74 minutes of football, that’s what makes the difference.”