Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny insists that his side will bounce back from Friday night’s 2-0 defeat to St Patrick’s Athletic in Inchicore.
“We have to pick ourselves up”, said Kenny after the game in Richmond Park.
“We can’t dwell on it because we have two games coming up next week and we have to dust ourselves down. We need the crowd behind us now and we need to get right for the Limerick game first and foremost.”
Kenny will be able to welcome back Darren Meenan and Chris Shields for the quick fire double header. Both were suspended for the top of the table clash with Pat’s and their absence was heavily felt.
“Too many of our players didn’t play as well as they can”, reflected Kenny.
“Coming here is tough and we had to make changes to the team with Meenan and Shields not being available. It is a learning curve for the players but we weren’t at our best tonight.
“In saying that, you can still not play well and not lose the game. That’s the thing that annoyed us, to concede the first goal in the way that we did.”
The goal in question came after a controversial decision by referee Tom Connolly to award a free-kick against Andy Boyle for a foul on Anto Flood.
And Kenny, like his assistant Vinny Perth, was left frustrated by the official’s decision making.
“I didn’t think it was a free-kick on Anto Flood. I’m very disappointed with that. He just threw himself on the ground but we should have defended it better.
“We said at half-time that he was giving ridiculous free-kicks all night. We told the players to be careful because the Pat’s players were throwing themselves on the ground.
“He (Connolly) has a problem distinguishing what is a foul and what isn’t a foul. It’s the most important part of being a referee, distinguishing what is a foul and what isn’t and he genuinely does have a problem with that.
“The last time we lost, against Limerick, he refereed that game and he gave an awful free-kick that they scored direct from but these are things we have to contend with.
“I’m not one for blaming referees”, he added. “The standard is alright and people are doing their best.
“I’m not trying to divert attention because we lost the game because we didn’t do enough to win it ourselves anyway.”