"I don't see politicians, solicitors, whatever, getting that kind of scrutiny"

13 September 2017

Mayo manager Stephen Rochford.
©INPHO/James Crombie.

As he seeks to guide Mayo to a first All-Ireland SFC success since 1951, Stephen Rochford has shone a light on the pressure cooker environment that inter-county managers operate in these days.

The Mayo manager has raised eyebrows at times with some of his tactical calls and, speaking to The Irish Sun as the countdown to Sunday continues to gather pace, he asked: “Show me any other profession - and this isn’t even a profession - where you have got journalists, pundits and analysts evaluating your performance on a weekly basis.

“I don’t see politicians, solicitors, whatever, getting that kind of scrutiny. The narrative can change from week to week depending on a result.

“In an inter-county manager’s job, you understand you are out there every week.

“You are under the microscope. You are in a situation whereby your performance is evaluated on Monday morning by a result.”

Rochford will be hoping to throw a spanner in the works of Dublin's quest for three-in-a-row but he is fully aware of the magnitude of the task that awaits him and his players.

“They had 15 guys behind the ball at times against Tyrone, at times they had six guys in attack and Dublin are basically saying, ‘Whatever way you want to come at us, we’ll take you on’.

“That’s just more evidence of the quality of players that they have - the level of achievement they have and the confidence they have within the group.

“At the same time, we have a strong belief within our group.

“Confidence is at a very good level. Physically we’re in really good shape. And we’re really ­looking forward to that challenge.

“Only one of two teams left can be the All-Ireland champions and we’re one of them.”