Anthony Moyles on the Allianz League challenge for Mayo

Former Meath footballer on the factors beyond results after the opening round defeat to Monaghan

BY Raf Diallo 20:29 Monday 6 February 2017, 20:29 6 Feb 2017

Mayo's Cillian O'Connor with Fintan Kelly of Monaghan ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson

After coming so close yet again to ending their All Ireland hoodoo in 2016 after a defeat over two games in the final against Dublin, Mayo are building towards another tilt at Sam Maguire in 2017.

Stephen Rochford's side started their Allianz Football League campaign on Saturday but lost to Monaghan by a narrow 1-11 to 0-12 scoreline.

However, it was an experimental Mayo lineup and there are more pressing considerations beyond results as former Meath footballer Anthony Moyles outlined on Off The Ball.

"The facts are the facts - a very experimental team out. And when you're talking about what you need to get from the league, as in a management team, Rochford has to find two to three fellas especially in the forward line," he said.

Moyles adds that it's not a priority for Mayo to go all out in the league by including key players in the team at this juncture as they will be eased back in by championship time.

He said: "All those usual names will come in - the O'Sheas, the Boyles, all those fellas - they'll come back in. [Mayo] are going to be there or thereabouts, so what's the point?  For him, it's survival. For Monaghan, it's probably 'let's get as many big games, get the wins and try and get to a league final.'

"For Rochford, it's about the championship, staying in Division One. He has to unearth a few fellas and he just has to see small things in guys. He doesn't have to see a fella kick 1-7. He just has to see some small things." 

Moyles also gave his take on his own county of Meath after their opening round loss to Kildare in Division 2 by a 3-17 to 0-16 score.

"This is a massive week for them and I mean the next game [against Derry] is a massive game for them because it's all about reaction from here," he said, although he adds that there is no need to panic.

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