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Horan plays down remark that Mayo should have beaten Kerry by 12 points

James Horan believes Kerry won’t care about his remark that his Mayo team should have beaten them by 12 points in March’s Division 1 final.

As the teams face each other again in their opening Super 8 game in Fitzgerald Stadium this day week, Horan played down the significance of his remark after seeing his team win by four points.

“I’m sure Kerry really don’t care what I say, to be honest. I just thought that on the day; we created a lot of goal chances that we didn’t take. We took our first two but missed our next three. That was my initial reaction. I try and be as straight as I can. I don’t think Kerry will give two hoots about what I say.”

Horan’s claim that Mayo “if we were as effective as we should be, we could’ve won by 10 to 12 points, to be honest” was last month criticised by Irish Examiner columnist Éamonn Fitzmaurice as “clunky and careless comment at best”.

In the same piece, Fitzmaurice said Mayo were guilty “of the cynical exploitation of the head injury rule when ahead in games”.

Horan can’t understand where the former Kerry manager and Kieran McGeeney, who highlighted the same subject after Armagh's loss to Mayo, is coming from although he feels McGeeney's remarks were said in the heat of a defeat.

“Look, I’ve been on the end of one-point defeats when a manager and sometimes you get frustrated. I’ve no idea what he’s talking about.

“You saw that game out there. You tell me what you thought from a cynical point of view or who was doing what. We finished with all our players. We just try to build a game as hard and as fair as we can so commentary on a game when you lose is kind of tough.”

Meanwhile, Galway boss Kevin Walsh hit out at the analysis of his team’s style. He argued the team have played offensively when given the space. “Unfortunately, the type of crap that has been put out by the guys on top who have plenty of table to sit behind actually have driven an agenda for that for a long time. It is not the case. It is a case that if there is space there we will do that, and if there is not we won’t.

It is about ball retention and playing as much as we can. Some of the kicks didn’t come off but they were quite direct. Mayo allow you do that.

'You look at missing a penalty, conceding a poor goal, hitting the post and missing one or two frees, that game was there for winning. And a few awful decisions which put us on the back foot as well.”

Walsh took issue with some of Joe McQuillan’s refereeing in Limerick. “I know referees are under serious pressure but there are agendas probably being driven by the top. It probably puts pressure on them to make all the silly decisions.

“Look, it is very frustrating when it is as simple on the eye to look at the stuff that went on. You asked me what decisions I think you know yourself as much I as I do. Its is frustrating. This is about our fellows it was the last game and it was important that if we are going out we are going out with our boots on and they have done that they fought to the end.”

Walsh wouldn’t be drawn on his future - “Look, I'm not going to get into that. I want to make sure that this group go out with their heads head high and not listen to crap outside.”

Mike Quirke's Football Show: Tactical Mayo but never boring. How Cork changed tack. Tyrone always learning. Fixing the fouling carnage