BRANDYWELL boss, Declan Devine, has rubbished claims that Stephen Kenny had “snubbed him” following last Monday night’s 3-0 Setanta Cup victory over Shamrock Rovers in Tallaght Stadium.
ARTHUR DUFFY reports
Devine, delighted with the shock victory over the “Hoops” immediately rejected the claim which, he said, had been put to him by “quite a few” people following the game.
“Journalists and, indeed, Derry City supporters have approached me suggesting that Stephen snubbed me after the match,” said Devine. “But that’s simply not the case,” he added.
“We shared a joke before the match and while Stephen appeared to be far from happy with the defeat - which was to be expected - he acted professionally afterwards. We shook hands after the final whistle and we move on to the next match.
“I would have expected nothing less. There’s no doubt that he was not happy with his team’s performance - I wouldn’t have been had we lost - but we didn’t overly celebrate the victory or anything like that.
“We had worked hard as a team, we deserved what we got and while I’m very proud of the effort put in by the players, I don’t think we tried to rub anyone’s nose in it,” continued Declan.
“There were no hard feelings, Stephen and I have been the best of friends for quite some time now and that will never change. I’ve said in the past that he is the top manager in the country and I’ve been very fortunate to work under him for quite a few years.
“During that time I’ve learned so much from him and I will continue to wish him well in his career and I’ve no doubt he would act exactly the same way towards me.
“But what do people expect when a manager loses 3-0 at home? There are very few smiles and very little conversation afterwards, but showing respect and acting professionally is the key and that’s exactly what happened following the final whistle in Tallaght,” insisted the Derry boss.
Under The Knife
Meanwhile, with Derry hosting Dundalk at the Brandywell tonight (7.45 p.m.) and Shamrock Rovers at the Lone Moor Road venue on Monday in the second leg of the Setanta Cup semi-final (7.45 p.m.), central half, Stewart Greacen, will not be involved in either game.
The 30-year-old Scot will arrive back in Derry today having gone under the surgeon’s knife in Glasgow and will be out of action for between six and eight weeks.
“Stewart will be back on Friday to commence his rehabilitation. He had a tear in his cartilage repaired in Glasgow as our regular surgeon in Belfast has been on holiday. Everything seems to have gone well and now he’s got to work his way back to fitness,” continued Devine.
However, Shane McEleney, who has missed the last three games, could be passed fit for tonight’s game against the “Lilywhites” having overcome ankle ligament damage.
“Shane and Ruaidhri (Higgins) are not a million miles away from full fitness but both will undergo fitness tests before the Dundalk game.
“It’s probably come too soon for them but we’ll have to wait and see how the tests go. That said it’s good to have players coming back to fitness as we are working from a very small first team squad.”