'They pinned back their ears and ran at us'

August 10, 2019

Mayo manager James Horan. ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne.

James Horan conceded that Mayo had no answer to Dublin's turbo-charged second half performance.

An upset looked to be on the cards when the Westerners led by 0-8 to 0-6 at half-time, but Dublin upped the ante in the second half to run out comfortable 10-point winners and move within 70 minutes of an unprecedented five-in-a-row of All-Ireland SFC titles.

"A team like Dublin are always going to come at you and they really came at us," the Mayo manager told RTE.

"We were on the ropes and we didn’t deal with it well. They ran at us from a lot of angles, got their tails up and it took us a while to adjust.

"They have such pace and athleticism all over the field - look at Con O’Callaghan getting the ball in his hands and running at his man. And then when you’re struggling on your own kick-outs legs start to get a big heavy. Our first half was pretty strong, we defended well, got a few scores, were patient, went in two points up and it could have been more. At the start of the second half they were very strong and came at us very hard.

"Con O’Callaghan got a goal, we put a ball into their goalkeeper’s hands, they came up the field, Lee (Keegan) slipped and they got a goal from it. They won the next five or six of our kick-outs and were in complete control.

"We were struggling to get our hands on possession and that was it."

Commenting on Dublin's dramatic improvement after the restart, Horan said: "I don't think they did anything dramatically different, nothing obvious. They pinned back their ears a bit and ran at us, and they hadn’t done that much in the first half. They got a step on us once or twice for the goals.

"We played well in the first half, a lot of the stuff we tried to do was good. We limited them, defended well and worked a few scored. But then they had that 10-minute period after half-time."

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