DERRY City boss, Declan Devine, yesterday released versatile midfielder, Owen Morrison, from his contract at the Brandywell, having met with the club’s Board of Directors yesterday morning.
ARTHUR DUFFY reports
In a no holds barred, face-to-face meeting with Board members, it was made clear to the manager that recent performances were unacceptable.
Indeed, the Directors said they were “extremely unhappy” at the level of performance over recent games and demanded an immediate improvement.
Morrison was then released having met with the manager and while Devine refused to be drawn into the reason for the player’s release, he wished him well for the future.
It’s no secret that the winger was not pleased having been substituted during the early stages of the second half during last Friday night’s 2-1 home defeat by UCD, but Devine refused to get involved in that controversy.
“Owen has been released from his contract and has now left the club,” confirmed Devine.
“I’d like to thank him for his loyalty to Derry City during his time here and I wish him well for the future,” he added.
Morrison, who actually marked his 50th competitive game for Derry last Friday night during three separate spells at the Brandywell, returned to the club having represented Portadown in the Irish League last season.
Derry chairman, Philip O’Doherty, who attended yesterday’s meeting having recently returned from business abroad, said the Board was “extremely unhappy” with recent performancees now that players were returning from injury.
“I was not in attendance at the UCD match last weekend due to business reasons, but I have watched the highlights of the game and I really did expect more,” said Mr. O’Doherty.
“It was a very disappointing performance and the goals we conceded were very poor.
“But the Board has since met with the manager to highlight our difficulties and while we have taken into account the horrendous injury crisis which we have also experienced this year, we believe that performances must improve significantly before the current season ends.”
Confirming that he had met the Board yesterday morning, Devine agreed that the level of performance against UCD has been particularly disappointing adding that his club’s disciplinary record also “left a lot to be desired” having had eight sendings-off this season.
“I accept the fact that we’ve had too many yellow cards and, of course, too many sendings-off, but there have been occasions this season when refereeing decisions have been harsh.
“That said, it up to us to look at ourselves, because we can’t always be seen to be blaming referees for our problems, and take responsibility.”
“I was very disappointed at the effort put in against UCD last weekend and that level of performance will not be tolerated. The fact that the club had lost so many games this season, particularly on home soil has also been a concern.
“It’s not good enough and I certainly realise that. We’ve had our injury problems, but there have been times when we failed to put in the effort and produce the performances that we are capable of,” he claimed.