James Horan concedes Mayo need to refocus on defence
Coach admits leaking of goals had undermined National League campaign
Mayo manager James Horan: “If you think about this team over the last three years our defending has been one of our corner-stones of our performances.” Photograph: Inpho
Mayo manager James Horan has conceded that his team needs to refocus on defence.
Speaking to Michael Gallagher in the Western People after the recent championship win in New York, Horan said that his side’s uncharacteristic leaking of goals had undermined their National League campaign.
“We were poor against Tyrone where we conceded some bad goals and that was to be a theme throughout early part of the league. Our defending wasn’t as good as it could be.
“If you think about this team over the last three years our defending has been one of our corner-stones of our performances and we needed to focus on that again.
‘Highest goal scorers’
“We were the highest goal scorers in the league and won our three home games. I would have liked to win another one on the road like we did last year down in Cork but we didn’t.
“Our attacking play was as good as there is in the country, but on the other hand we let in a number of soft goals, so we’ve worked hard on that over the past few weeks.”
He denied that these concerns had prompted the selection of All Star Keith Higgins in defence for the trip to the US.
“Not necessarily! We put Keith into the defence for the New York game because he was the best player to put there for that particular game.
“Any game Keith has played for us in Croke Park at wing-forward, he has played very, very well, so he’s an option for us there.
“The concession of goals is always more than the last pass, but people see the last pass and who scores and think the corner-back might have stopped it, but the majority of goals are created further out the field.”