DUNDALK centre-back Burns felt that Friday night’s performance in the 1-1 draw against Shamrock Rovers was a long time coming.
Just 24 hours after Sean McCaffrey’s departure, the Lilywhites produced a stirring performance under the stewardship of caretaker manager Darius Kierans to put a massive dent in the Hoops’ title hopes.
Kierans said afterwards that he would like a shot at the manager’s job and Burns said the Drogheda man had the full backing of the squad.
“We’re playing against the champions at home and we maybe could have nicked it with a couple of goals on the break”, said Burns. “We’re a bit disappointed not to have won it but at the same time we’re happy to take a point.”
“It’s not up to the players who gets the job but we have a lot of respect for Darius”, he added. “We’ve enjoyed his training sessions and he might have the chance to become the number one man now and I’m sure he’ll grasp the opportunity if he gets it.”
Leading through Gary Shanahan’s 19th minute effort, Dundalk were pegged back when Daryl Kavanagh pounced on a loose ball in the Lilywhites box to steer the ball past Peter Cherrie in the 63rd minute. It was a goal that left Burns and his team-mates fuming.
“Killian Brennan pumped the ball in, I won the header and it went straight to their player”, said Burns. “It was a good finish. We knew they would create chances but it is the manner in which they created it that is the disappointing thing.”
Reflecting on McCaffrey’s reign, Burns admitted that the players had let the Monaghan man down.
“We were all disappointed to see Sean do. It came out of the blue and we were all shocked but football goes on. As professionals, whatever happens outside our control, whether it’s in the boardroom or managers, we can’t affect that. All we can worry is about what happens on the pitch.
“We know ourselves that we probably let Sean down because he stuck by a lot of the players. We had a lot of respect for him but things didn’t happen for Sean or the club.”
A healthy crowd of 1300 watched Friday’s clash with the champions and Burns said it was a result that would hopefully lift the doom and gloom that seems to be hanging over the club on a daily basis.
Commenting on the club’s off the field difficulties, Burns said it was just something the players would have to put to the back of their minds.
“That’s football”, he said. “A lot of the lads are new to this sort of thing whereas I’m well used to it. What is happening at the club is hard but I’ve told the younger lads that they could be in a worse situation.
“A lot of them are young and single and don’t have kids or mortgages to look after so that is probably a good thing but when you cross the line you have to do your best for the club and supporters.
“You can see the effort and commitment the players put in tonight. We want to play for this club. We knew what we had to do and we owed the fans and ourselves a performance.
“They probably don’t think it at the minute but a lot of the younger players will probably look back next year and say this season has been a great learning curve.”
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