Kenny furious with his side’s defending in derby horror show

Dundalk's Darren Meenan and Drogheda United's Michael Daly struggle for possession near the corner flag in the SSE Airtricity League Louth Derby at United Park
Over 36 hours had passed since the 4-1 derby defeat to Drogheda United but Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny was still hurting by his side’s defensive showing at United Park when he spoke to The Dundalk Democrat at Sunday’s official club photo-shoot.

Over 36 hours had passed since the 4-1 derby defeat to Drogheda United but Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny was still hurting by his side’s defensive showing at United Park when he spoke to The Dundalk Democrat at Sunday’s official club photo-shoot.

“It’s a huge disappointment. We watched the video this morning and we made some really basic defensive mistakes. We dominated the first 35 minutes but didn’t take the chances we created and we got punished. It was an unbelievable free-kick from Eric Foley,” he said.

“Our defending for some of the goals in the second-half was nowhere near good enough, basic crosses into the box that we didn’t defend properly. You can’t defend like that and that was really disappointing.

“We conceded three in the Setanta Cup 1st Leg against Coleraine and four on Friday night,” he continued.

“It’s very unlike us. There was a similar theme to both games; we dominated the first-half in both matches and conceded just before half-time to great goals. In both games we also conceded sloppy goals after the break.

“It’s not good enough. They all know that. They don’t need me to tell them that but I’ve told them that anyway! We need to pick it up and go again.”

Kenny said the main focus was about getting back on track. Limerick are the opposition on Friday night when Dundalk play their first home league game of the season and three points in the sole aim.

“Limerick caused us problems last season but we’re at home and we want to make sure our home form is exceptional,” said Kenny.

“Our intention is to get back on track as quick as possible. We have got to put the Drogheda game behind us. It’s only one match. I remember the middle of last season when we were 10 points behind. What we need to do is get back on track quickly and get a win.”

The Dundalk boss is hoping to have Brian Gartland back in contention for Friday night’s game with the Munster outfit.

The former Portadown centre-back has been absent since picking up an ankle injury in training on February 16. Club physio Paul Cheshire worked with Gartland on Sunday morning and Kenny said he would ‘see what way he responds this week’ before deciding on his team.