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Mayo need to be more astute and imaginative to profit from open play

By Peter Canavan

If Mayo are to advance to the All-Ireland final they must change their offensive strategy.

Last Sunday, in fairness to Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly, they weren't afraid to make a big call prior to the game, with the non-selection of Barry Moran.

The big call now is to add impetus to the forward line by doing one of two things; start Barry Moran and use him as a twin threat along with Aidan O'Shea.

Or, they could do my preferred option to start Mickey Sweeney in the corner.

His speed and agility will pose a different threat to the Dublin full-back line. He will provide much-needed support to O'Shea at full-forward.

The final piece of the jigsaw will be the positioning of Cillian O'Connor on the edge of the 'D', in front of the two inside forwards.

You can station Cillian O'Connor out at the end of the 'D' in front of the inside forwards.

That means Cian O'Sullivan (6) will not have the same freedom to sweep, he will be occupied.

While he will know where Aidan O'Shea is, he will also be wary of O'Connor's scoring potential.

O'Connor can create the conditions for goals to occur, and he always carries the threat of kicking points. But if he also makes runs across the sweeper's zone, he can create more space for O'Shea.

If the ball is kicked in long, Cillian will need to be no more than 20 metres away to receive the quick pass with all the defenders drawn to O'Shea.

It's about showing a wee bit more astuteness and imagination, that way they can score more from play.

Belfast Telegraph


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