FORMER Derry City manager, Stephen Kenny has slammed ‘unfair’ and ‘grossly irresponsible’ comments directed at Dundalk striker, Patrick Hoban for his part in the collision which hospitalised Ryan McBride last Monday night.
McBride suffered a seizure on the Oriel Park pitch after clashing heads with Hoban and spent two nights in Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda where he had scans and X-rays before being released on Wednesday morning.
Derry boss, Roddy Collins hit out at Hoban after the match claiming the Dundalk striker had intended to hurt his player, saying; “He done him.”
However, in a statement released by Dundalk Football Club, ‘Lilywhites’ manager, Kenny claimed McBride’s injury was an ‘unfortunate accident’ caused by a ‘completely accidental clash of heads’.
And the Dubliner refuted any suggestions that his player had intended to harm the Derry centre half.
“It’s very rare that I feel the need to send a direct message out to supporters but I feel it’s important that I do so following the unfortunate incident involving Ryan McBride and Patrick Hoban on Monday night,” said Kenny.
“I gave Ryan McBride his debut for Derry City and he is one of the bravest players I have ever managed. He is a very committed professional and I was very sorry to see him get hurt on Monday night.
“In terms of bravery, commitment and honesty Patrick Hoban is actually very similar,” he continued. “The TV replays of the incident show two committed players trying to win an aerial duel.
“The footage shows clearly that this was a completely accidental clash of heads and any statement to the contrary is grossly irresponsible.
“As well as being top-class for Dundalk FC since I signed him for the club before the start of last year, Patrick has an outstanding disciplinary record. Some of the comments being made about Patrick have been incredibly unfair. The referee got the decision absolutely spot-on. It was a very unfortunate accident.
“I would like to wish Ryan a speedy recovery. I would also like to commend our club doctor Dr Samir Akhal for his role in treating Ryan quickly while under intense pressure.”
Meanwhile, McBride, who remembers little from the incident, has absolved Hoban of all blame for his role and revealed that he has since received a text message from the Galway native apologising for the challenge and wishing him well in his recovery.
“I don’t think Hoban meant it.
“He actually sent me a text saying that he felt sorry for what happened and told me he didn’t mean to do it and he was hoping I was okay.
“I’m grand now,” he added. “I’ve got a sore head and a sore neck and they had to keep me in the hospital to make sure everything was okay.” he concluded.