Mortimer: midfield is O'Shea's best position
19 May 2017
Mayo's Aidan O'Shea.
Conor Mortimer would like to see Mayo play Aidan O'Shea at midfield in this year's championship.
O'Shea has been left on the bench for Sunday's Connacht SFC quarter-final against Sligo as he continues his recovery from injury, but Mortimer feels midfield is his best position and wants to see him played there when he returns to full fitness.
“The positional sense of Aidan is primarily important for Mayo, to play him in a position and leave him in that position. I’d prefer to see him at midfield, he’s better there, he needs to get his fitness levels to a level of playing at midfield for 70 minutes," the former Mayo sharpshooter told the Irish Daily Star after he was unveiled as Paddy Power GAA ambassador yesterday.
“I’d like to see him midfield but the way the game is gone you need to be seriously fit to play midfield. You need to be full of legs up and down the field, I don’t know has he that just yet. His best games consecutively have been at midfield.
“The positional thing is the big one, (Stephen) Rochford needs to sort that out this year for Aidan. If we’re to win anything he’s going to be a primary player for us, if he doesn’t play well we will struggle to win games, there’s no two ways about it
“That’s not pressure, that’s the reality of being one of the top players. You have to perform to win games and if you don’t we don’t, effectively.”
Asked about Bernard Flynn's criticism of O'Shea yesterday, Mortimer replied: “The best way for him to answer is on the field, lead his team the way he can lead it, he’s done it numerous times over the last five or six years since he broke onto the Mayo team as a young fella. It’s a big year, he needs to step it up another gear.
“From what I hear down below he’s keeping his head down, he’s training away and is ready to play, starting this weekend.”