James Moran: Mayo looking forward to trip to Kerry

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Mayo manager James Horan said he and his team can’t wait to face Kerry in Fitzgerald Stadium in their opening Super 8 game.

Horan was delighted as he saw his team beat Galway for the first time since 2016 but his attention has already turned to Kerry tomorrow week.

Even if it will be Mayo’s fourth game in as many weeks, he is excited about the encounter: “Looking forward to it. We’ve had a few clashes with Kerry already this year and we’re looking forward to going down there, we genuinely are. Games are coming hot and heavy and the game-to-training ratio is the way you want it.”

Beating Galway by three points when they had been up by eight on a few occasions didn’t bother Horan in the slightest.

“We only won by three so I’m more than happy with that,” he said tongue-in-cheek.

“The goal from the free was crazy so that would make it six points. I don’t think there’s any story in that. As I said, I’m delighted with a lot of stuff.

“We had a lot of goal chances and two of our goal chances I was sure they were frees at a minimum. We went down, got surrounded and the ball went down so it gave Galway a bit of momentum when we had scores on and if we took those scores it would have been different. They’re the things we’re learning from.”

James Carr was a star with two goals and Darren Coen was rightly named man of the match but it was the more seasoned players Horan was delighted for in particular.

“We’re still in there, still fighting and trying to get better. We had Cillian O’Connor and Donie Vaughan, their first full games in months. Cillian’s first game this year and Seamie O’Shea came back on. We’re happy tonight that we got through that. It’s been a while since we’ve beaten Galway, by only three points, so we’re just delighted to get through.

“James (Carr), his second goal was unbelievable. He’s a very exciting player who has a bit of everything and when we get him fully fit he’ll be a serious option. Delighted for him to get more game-time, but I’m nearly more happy for some of the senior lads in our full-back line – Chris Barrett, Brendan Harrison, Keith (Higgins), Colm Boyle in particular showed immense leadership today. Overall, we’re very happy with how it went.

On the matter of Lee Keegan’s ankle injury against Armagh which threatened to rule him out of the game only for him to appear from off the bench, Horan remarked: “He got a bad injury you all saw last week with his ankle, but he has amazing powers of recovery, he really has, whatever physiology he has.

“You saw him on the field there today, he was running well and we’re delighted with that because obviously we thought it was a much longer-term injury. He’s up and running.”

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