Former Roscommon, Tipperary and Wicklow manager John Evans has sounded a word of warning to Mayo.
Kevin McStay’s charges have made a stunning start to the year, going through their first six Division 1 games unbeaten. Before Monaghan visit Castlebar on Sunday afternoon, they are already assured of a league final spot.
However, their Connacht Championship opener with Roscommon is set for one week after the springtime decider, and Evans fears Mayo may be disadvantaged.
“Mayo are firing on all cylinders. There’s nothing wrong with what they’ve done,” he told Our Game.
“There is no doubt about it, it (the calendar) is flawed when a team has to go out a week later. Roscommon, if they don’t get to a final will be licking their lips. They’ll be able to prepare so well, so hard, have a good look at Mayo in a league final, counteract them. Davy Burke will be saying ‘we have to cover this, this and this’.
“It gives them a huge advantage. Right, a National League title is one thing. But a team shouldn’t be punsihed for that. Whereas if Kerry get there for instance, they have three or four weeks and they have to come up against Tipp or Waterford. Jack O’Connor I think is going to start pushing for a league final because of that.
“Whereas Mayo have to tread lightly and hope they come injury-free. And having had a wonderful league, a loss in a league final could really throw a spanner in the works for Mayo in their resurgence.
“The way they role into the championship, it’s a lot of games, a lot of fences to jump. There’s two or three Becher’s Brooks there!”