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Mayo Stephen Rochford refuses to blame own goals

Mayo reaction

By Declan Bogue

Published 19/09/2016

Progress: Philip McMahon finds a way through Diarmuid O’Connor
Progress: Philip McMahon finds a way through Diarmuid O’Connor

Mayo manager Stephen Rochford comes into the room, Andy Moran alongside him, resolutely dressed in the bearing of men who have not missed a boat of any description.

A polite question or two first, and then onto the main course - the two own goals that sabotaged a performance that would have been enough to win an All-Ireland.

You can't legislate for that kind of thing, Stephen?

"No, you don't feel sorry for yourself either," he is quick to point out.

"That was one thing… we said we weren't going to have regrets about certain things that would happen during the course of the year and during the course of the game. Some days you get a decision or you don't get a decision; you get a lucky goal, you get unlucky.

"Things happen. It's 70 minutes, it's not a defining moment so for us it's half-time. See you in two weeks."

Later on, it is put to him again. Did your heart sink?

"No my heart didn't sink because there was still, the first goal went in after 10 minutes in, there was still 60 minutes to rectify it.

"My job isn't to start feeling sorry for myself or the group or all of Mayo. My job is to look around, see can we do something a bit better… But we have a fortnight to look at why that happened because I think there could be a pattern to it and ensure it doesn't happen again. That's my job."

Mayo captain Andy Moran is similarly sunny beside him when the same question is put to him.

"They were two goals no points for a long period of the game," he points out, not unreasonably.

"There is a lot you can take. The fact that we put the ball in our own net twice. But we were probably more concerned with the way we were playing ourselves, even at half-time we weren't happy."

He gets down to the nuts and bolts of the modern-game: "Our transition play wasn't great, from back to front we didn't offer ourselves enough in the full-forward line. You can make a lot of excuses for yourselves."

All-Ireland final day is festooned in pageantry, with all sorts of drummers and Irish dancers, but one or two of them almost got caught in a little argy-bargy when both sides burst out of the tunnel at the same time.

Dublin were due out first, and Mayo seemed especially keen to get out in good time. Rochford stated there was no skullduggery.

"I think we went out a minute after we were supposed to. Just in case anyone is going to look into it. These things happen so ye can all nail that on the head."

Belfast Telegraph

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