Rochford wary of Cork backlash
17 July 2017
Mayo manager Stephen Rochford.
Mayo manager Stephen Rochford is anticipating a Cork backlash in Saturday's All-Ireland SFC Round 4A qualifier at the Gaelic Grounds.
The Rebels have endured a poor season to date and are coming off the back of a heavy Munster final defeat to old rivals Kerry. But Rochford warned in an interview with the Western People: "We're all well aware of the criticism they have taken over the last couple of weeks, certainly since the Munster final.
"We expect them to be coming with a backlash. We know, ourselves, that they're very physical, a hard-running team, so we expect it to be a very tight affair. At the same time, we're happy with the performance trajectory that the team were given and I expect that to continue."
The Crossmolina man expressed satisfaction with Mayo's Round 3A performance against Clare from the second quarter onwards.
"Look, we were slow getting out of the blocks. After 20 minutes, we had only one point, which was scored inside the first minute. So we wouldn't be happy with that first quarter," he said.
"But I would say that, over the remaining three-quarters, we played the better football. We certainly didn't help ourselves in that first quarter. Our energy levels were off and, maybe, that was a bit of a hangover from the extra-time against Derry. But that certainly won't be any excuse going into the Cork game."