Dundalk captain Stephen O’Donnell has apologised to the club’s supporters following his sending-off in the 2-0 defeat against St Patrick’s Athletic in Richmond Park on Friday night.
O’Donnell was shown a straight red card by referee Tom Connolly in the 75th minute after pushing Pat’s full-back Ger O’Brien in the chest.
Many observers thought the decision was extremely harsh but O’Donnell, who only returned the to the starting XI after missing the previous game through suspension, said he was ‘embarrassed’ by his actions.
“I thought it was a harsh decision but I shouldn’t have put myself in that position. If I don’t run 15-yards to get involved, I don’t get sent-off”, said the Dundalk skipper.
“I would like to apologise to all the Dundalk fans for my indiscipline. I’m the captain and I’m supposed to lead by example but that is the second time I have been sent-off this season. It’s not good enough.
“Frustration is no excuse. I’m supposed to be one of the more experienced boys in the squad and I’m supposed to be an example to the younger players. I’m embarrassed to be honest.”
Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny was one of the people who though that the punishment didn’t fit the crime.
“There is a rule saying you can’t raise your hands but there is raising your hands and ‘raising your hands’”, said Kenny.
“It was a casual push, at best. The referee is within his rights technically, but 90% of the time that is a yellow card.”
O’Donnell now faces the prospect of a heavy ban but Kenny said that the club were unlikely to appeal the decision with the FAI.
“I don’t think we’d be successful. They’re not going to decide against their referee applying the letter, with a capital L, of the law.”