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'The Last Thing Mayo Needed To Be Doing Was Going To A Function Celebrating Mediocrity'

'The Last Thing Mayo Needed To Be Doing Was Going To A Function Celebrating Mediocrity'
By PJ Browne Updated

The way Mayo and Dublin reacted immediately following the final whistle of the All-Ireland final differed greatly.

Dublin players departed the pitch, making no time for media interviews. In contrast, three Mayo players were interviewed on the Croke Park pitch. Andy Moran spoke to RTÉ while Tom Parsons and Aidan O'Shea were interviewed on Sky Sports.

That this was allowed surprised Sky Sports analyst James Horan. The former Mayo manager and Peter Canavan felt that the possibility a Mayo player may have offered some crumbs to Dublin should not have been chanced.

I was surprised, like Peter, with three Mayo guys in a row being interviewed. It's just a small thing, get in, get your recovery going straight away. You've got a big game coming up in a couple of weeks. Talk through what happened today. Talk through it as a group and analyse it.

Don't be out there. After coming back in an All-Ireland final - a point down and getting a point to draw - your emotions are high and you're saying stuff that might not be helpful.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wp_8G8fBtQc

Media being allowed to conduct post-match interviews with players on the pitch is not the only Mayo decision to be criticised. On Second Captains this week, four-time All-Ireland winner with Kerry Micheál Quirke suggested that players attending a banquet after Sunday's game was 'the last thing Mayo needed to be doing'.

I woke up this morning and I looked at Twitter and I'd swear I saw picture of Aidan O'Shea in a suit at some Mayo function last night in Dublin. The last thing Mayo needed to be doing was going to a function celebrating mediocrity - which is really what they were yesterday.

Defensively, Mayo were exceptional but Mayo were terrible offensively. Aidan O'Shea gave them very little and their use of Aidan O'Shea was questionable at best. Cillian O'Connor [scorer of 0-7 in total] - I know he kicked that brilliant score and he kicked another one from play in the second half - but he was fair. You'd want more out of him as your main guy. It's just a game where both sets of forwards are looking at it and saying 'We can improve so much on what we gave yesterday'.

Quirke believes players being forced to listen to fans telling them how unlucky they were not to win is not conducive to building a winning mentality for the replay.

You get into your team bus and you go back to Mayo and as group you go out and have a couple of beers just to have a little release because these guys have been building up to this for a month or three weeks.

To go in with supporters and listen to guys saying 'Jesus lads, ye were fierce unlucky', that's the last thing in the world these lads need to be doing. Go away, lick your wounds and feel sorry for yourself because you should have closed it out when Dublin were bad.

By Tuesday night or whenever they're training again, they have to be refocused on the next job. If that's where they're going, it's a worry for them for the next two weeks.

The Mayo post-match function was held in Citywest. According to Ciaran Murphy on Second Captains, Mayo players arrived at the function at around 10pm and left approximately two-and-a-half to three hours later. All proceeds for the function went towards the player training fund. So there was perhaps an onus on players and management to attend.

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Like the post-match interviews, how Dublin chose to do things that evening also differed. They had a meal planned with family and friends - that was cancelled.

Even though he believes it may have no impact whatsoever on the replay, Quirke feels the decision to attend the function was wrong.

I'm talking about guys putting on their suits, their lovely suits they got for the RTÉ Sunday Game function. I don't know if they were there for half an hour or twenty minutes but in my opinion they shouldn't have been there at all. If Rochford or one or two of his management team felt obliged for the county board to go and show up, that's fine. You don't get your players going into this thing.

If you lose an All-Ireland these things are the worst funeral you have to go to in your life. If you win, it's great. If you draw, it's even more deflating, you're nowhere. It's only a small thing, I'm sure it'll have no impact on the next game but just don't do it. It looks better for yourself as a group.

Just go away, lick your wounds together. You don't need to be taking pictures and doing it in a public way. Get your house in order for the next two weeks.

You can listen to Micheál Quirke on Second Captains below.

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