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Jim McGuinness And James Horan Have Very Different Views About Future Of This Mayo Team

Jim McGuinness And James Horan Have Very Different Views About Future Of This Mayo Team
PJ Browne
By PJ Browne
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Under the Croke Park lights on Saturday night, Mayo's All-Ireland agony extended for a further chapter.

It was their third All-Ireland defeat in the last five Championships.

On Sky Sports' GAA coverage, James Horan - under whose watch Mayo lost two of those finals - was chief mourner. Former Donegal manager Jim McGuinness who knows plenty about winning and losing finals was also present to dissect the game and talk what is to come for Mayo in the future.

McGuinness said that this group of Mayo players will never get a better chance to win an All-Ireland than this year.

To go through that now, so many times from a Mayo point of view. It's hard for us as neutrals to feel what it's like. For people like James [Horan] who have been in management and supporters, it's an incredible run of bad luck for them.

I personally feel if they don't win today or the last day - when are they going to do it? They'll never, ever get a better chance. They took Dublin to the brink both days and they didn't manage to get over the line.


James Horan has optimism regarding Mayo's future. Earlier this summer, a number of the Mayo senior panel won the All-Ireland U21 final against Cork.

Horan believes those younger players can be the fuel for future Mayo success.


One this I think is important - the last thing Mayo want is sympathy - Mayo won the All-Ireland U21 this year.

There's a lot of very, very strong players coming through. Conor Loftus, Conor O'Shea, Stephen Coen was on today. We talk about Brendan Harrison and all these guys, they're very, very young. They'll be disappointed today. They're the guys that really need to turn it around and drive and bring some of the older guys with them. They're the future.


The former Mayo manager also feels that without question, this group of Mayo players can bounce back from this latest disappointment.

Absolutely. There's no question about that in my mind whatsoever. The like of Cillian O'Connor, Aidan O'Shea - these guys in particular, they're natural leaders, they're ambitious and aggressive in what they want to do and want to achieve, both in football and in life.

I've absolutely no doubt that some of those guys will get together over the next few days and they'll see where things are and what needs to be done. They'll drive forward. There's no question in my mind about that.

Jim McGuinness has a far more pessimistic view regarding Mayo's future. He believes that the moment has passed for this side.

I love this man's [James Horan] enthusiasm and it's in that team out there as well and I have no doubt James 100 per cent believes that and there's no doubt the players are thinking that as well.

But for me, the arrow of time is important as well. I think in sport that there is moments where you've got to take your opportunity. This is the eighth semi-final or final and they haven't got over the line. You just wonder, can they sustain that?

For me it feels as if the opportunity has passed. Whether that comes to bear or not in the future, I don't know. I hope I'm wrong. This was a big, big opportunity over the last three weekends.

Meanwhile, down on pitchside, Dick Clerkin told Sky Sports that he felt Stephen Cluxton's ability to dictate the pace of the game made a huge difference. You can watch his analysis on their website here.

See Also: Vote For Your Player Of The Final
See Also: You Can't Brush Off A Defeat Like That': James Horan Is Seriously Worried About Mayo



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