The battling qualities displayed by Mayo in their defeat to Galway bodes well for their All-Ireland qualifier campaign, according to Stephen Rochford.
Mayo were reduced to 14 men after Diarmuid O'Connor was red-carded for a high elbow on Paul Conroy in the 28th minute, yet were level with the Allianz League finalists before Johnny Heaney's injury-time goal settled it.
"Having to play a game against a top team for 50 minutes puts you in a difficult situation, but it gives me great encouragement as regards the fight that's still within the group," the Mayo manager said.
"Even when Galway got the goal, we got it back to two points and had another opportunity."
"For whatever reason, people will make out about legs - there are a lot of teams going out the same length of time as those players but we will take it one game at a time and see what we can manage in the qualifiers."
Rochford added: "We're extremely disappointed. We put a lot into that game. We expected to win with the effort that we put in and the focus and attitude of the group over the last couple of weeks.
"But we just weren't good enough on the day. Put it down to six minutes injury-time and they score a goal. Put it down to a couple of good scoring opportunities we didn't execute.
"The sending off. In such a tight margin of a game you can look for multiple reasons but they will only be excuses this evening. We didn't win and we now prepare for the month of June."