DUNDALK assistant manager Darius Kierans knows his side’s defensive performance was “not good enough”, but he is hoping that they will “learn quickly” from their mistakes, and has pointed to the example shown by Saint Patrick’s Athletic.
The 31-year-old former Drogheda United boss was downbeat following the Lilywhites’ defeat at Richmond Park, and wants the team to “collectively take responsibility” after they conceded three poor goals from set-pieces.
Speaking after the game, Kierans said: “It’s very disappointing; to go 2-0 up and to be cruising, and then in the last half-hour I think we hit the self-destruct button. There is no point in saying anything else – we were sloppy from set-pieces.
“Pat’s are direct, that’s the way they play. I don’t think they threatened us in the first 60 minutes but we just seemed to hit the self-destruct button and we didn’t do the fundamental things right or take responsibilities as individuals. It’s very disappointing. They were three poor goals from set-pieces. It’s not individual things. I think collectively as a team we have to look at it, that we didn’t take responsibility.
“Everybody knows their jobs. You go through it in training, who’s picking up who, but for some reason in the last half-hour we were just lackadaisical – I don’t know, maybe it was lack of concentration. It’s not good enough. It’s three points that we’ve thrown away, and it would have put us in a good position.
“We’re going to have to learn from it and learn from it very quickly. The boys are gutted inside. There’s nobody more gutted than they are. They knew at 2-0, even at half-time, we were hoping to go on and get the three points. It’s a 2-0 lead; Pat’s here two weeks ago were in a similar situation and Bray came back and beat them 3-2, so they know what it feels like. It looks like they have learned from it, so hopefully we can bounce back pretty quickly and learn from it.”
Kierans felt that the side missed central defender Shane Guthrie, who was unavailable due to the terms of his loan agreement from St Pat’s.
“I think big Gutsy was a loss for us tonight. Obviously, he can’t play against Pat’s, but his physical presence, and you would be hoping he’d be commanding a lot of balls in the air playing against a team like Pat’s who play direct. It’s something we’re going to have to learn to cope with as a team because there are a lot of direct teams in this league, so we’re going to have to be able to mix it as well as play ball.”