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'They'll Know That Not Enough Of Them Came Anywhere Near Their Level Of Performance'

'They'll Know That Not Enough Of Them Came Anywhere Near Their Level Of Performance'

Stephen Rochford believes that there will be a strong sense of regret in the Mayo camp due to their performance in the All-Ireland final against Tyrone.

"I think of the more recent finals, we would have felt that we gave a better account of ourselves than we did [on Saturday]," the former Mayo manager told Balls.ie's GAA Embedded show.

"It's damn hard to get to All-Ireland finals.

"I don't feed into the idea of the curse, or any of that sort of nonsense. When you sit back and reflect, and they'll do time with the video reviewing it, they'll know that not enough of them came anywhere near their [best] level of performance.

"And, still you look at certain elements of the game where you'll say, 'There was the opportunity'. The penalty was one, but there were other opportunities.

"Those boys will have serious regrets, I think, over the next couple of weeks and months."

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Rochford believes that Mayo did well in some aspects of the game, but were not consistent in their play. He singled out the moment just before half-time when Padraig O'Hora was fouled on the edge of the large rectangle.

"In that, they changed up their angles of running, fellas came in support; that just did not happen enough [after that]," he said.

"If you're going to try to move these Tyrone guys around, that's what Mayo needed to do. They had the opportunity of seeing what Tyrone did in the Kerry game, and had the two-week lead-in to get that right. They just didn't get it consistently enough in the play.

"There was one play where Tyrone tried to break in for a goal chance where someone tried to bring in Mattie Donnelly or Darren McCurry over the top, and Oisin Mullin [won it].

"We came all the way up the field, Tommy Conroy broke inside, and looking at it now, he probably would say, 'Give me that chance again, and I'd tip it over the bar'. Tyrone are not a team that cough up the ball easily, to punish them at the far end, it would have been a great score to get.

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"Mayo had opportunities. Conor Loftus's shot [that was blocked on the line], the penalty, the Tommy Conroy chance, Brian Walsh has a great chance. Because [those chances were not taken], players are thinking that they need to make it happen. They were trying stuff that had not been part of the pattern."

Former Mayo manager Stephen Rochford on losing an All-Ireland final

Rochford managed Mayo in their All-Ireland defeats to Dublin in 2016 and 2017. He knows what it's like to be on the losing side in the decider.

"You're as flat as a pancake," said Rochford.

"A lot of the what ifs, the maybes, are going through your head. You know that it's going to be a long winter reflecting, and building yourselves back up for a new campaign.

"The experience of the years gone by will have prepared a number of them. It is very difficult, and in someways, it can feel a bit lonely.

"The younger lads might get into that space [thinking about next year], and that's fine. The older lads will know the necessity to switch off, have a little bit of downtime. No doubt, they'll do a bit of socialising together or in some of their own friend groups over the next couple to unwind and put it behind them."

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stephen rochford mayo 2021 final tyrone regrets

PJ Browne
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