Rochford still sees cause for optimism in Mayo

September 16, 2021

Former Mayo manager Stephen Rochford

Stephen Rochford says there is still cause for optimism in Mayo despite suffering another defeat on football’s biggest stage.

Tyrone’s 2-14 to 0-15 victory at Croke Park last Saturday saw the Red Hands land a first All-Ireland SFC final triumph since 2008, while condemning their Connacht counterparts to another painful loss in the Sam Maguire Cup decider.

Having been in charge during his county’s final defeats of 2016 (after a replay) and 2017, Rochford knows all about the hurt the players are going through but, writing for, the Crossmolina man doesn’t expect this team to go away any time soon.

“There is still cause for optimism in Mayo more than a knee jerk reaction of, ‘Oh God, this will send us back years’,” he wrote.

“The thing that will stick with Mayo most is that they didn’t perform to the levels they expected. It’s not the National League. You don’t get an opportunity to go out next Sunday and rectify that.

“You have to wait until next May or June to put that right. The National League will help with some of that.

“Losing an All-Ireland final is very difficult because, while you dust yourself down and get back up on the horse, that horse doesn’t leave town for a number of months.

“I certainly haven’t picked up on any sense that James Horan has had his fill of it, or that there is any talk of change.”

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