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James Horan Photo by: SPORTSFILE

Mayo happy to be favourites ahead of All-Ireland semi-final against Tyrone

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James Horan Photo by: SPORTSFILE

Mayo boss James Horan says his team are happy to be rated as favourites for Sunday’s All-Ireland semi-final showdown with Tyrone at Croke Park.

Horan’s team demolished champions Donegal in the quarter-finals with Tyrone the clear underdogs going into the big game.

Horan told Irish state broadcaster RTE: “I’m sure they’re happy to come in under the radar.

“Maybe they might feed off the fact that we’re favourites and that we’re the guys shooting the lights out.

“I’m sure that might bring a smile to Mickey Harte’s face. But we’ll just go away and prepare and do our stuff and I’m sure Mickey will go away and do his.”

Horan will have his team on guard against a Tyrone side full of experience and youthful promise.

The Mayo boss added: “I would absolutely have respect for this Tyrone team, for everything that they’ve achieved and for everything that they are doing and the type of guys that they are.

“Tyrone are very effective and maximise their resources, which is all that any team that can ever do. They’re never beaten. It’s never over. And you’ve seen that in the last couple of games that they’ve played - they’ve scraped through. And obviously with Mickey Harte involved they’ve a very effective and successful manager.”

Mayo have yet to be tested this year after waltzing their way through Connacht before derailing the Donegal bandwagon.

Horan added: “Obviously a Connacht title is huge. And three in a row, it’s a huge achievement. And we are very, very proud to do that. Connacht title gives you a crack at an All-Ireland quarter final. Winning a quarter final gives you a crack at a semi final. That’s it.

“What we are doing is preparing as well as we can for the match against Tyrone - we’ll be looking for the best performance of the year to date. In every training session we try to have the best training session we can. Try to improve. That is exactly what we’ve done.”

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