Derry City manager, Declan Devine, described his team’s performance against St. Patrick’s Athletic at the Brandywell on Friday as “not good enough”.
After the game, Devine was clearly angry and frustrated about not just the result but the way in which his team lost.
The Dubliners took the lead on the stroke of half-time through Darren Meenan and a rare goalkeeping error by Gerard Doherty ensured that Liam Buckley’s men left with all three points and their unbeaten league record intact.
Friday’s defeat means that Derry have gone six league games without a win and although they remain in sixth place in the Airtricity Premier Division, they are now 12 points behind league leaders Sligo Rovers.
“I am very disappointed because it’s just not good enough to play at the Brandywell like we did against St. Pat’s tonight.
“I felt that the one thing that we have had in abundance all year is good character but after tonight’s game I think we need a few stronger personalities who can take the game by the scruff of the neck.
“We were outplayed, out-fought and out-bossed.
“In hindsight we gave away two very poor goals but it’s up to us to learn from that because a lot of the goals we are conceding are down to things that we are doing wrong and not what the opposition is doing right.”
Devine will lead Derry into what will be his first cup final since taking up the reigns at Brandywell earlier this year when they take on Crusaders in the final of the Setanta Sports Cup at the Oval next Saturday afternoon.
The 38 year-old Creggan man said that unless his players improve drastically then they will give all involved with Derry City no chance of lifting the trophy.
“Defeats have to hurt first and foremost and if they don’t hurt then we are in the wrong game but the beauty of the situation is that we have the chance to bounce back and win a trophy next week.
“We will analyse what happened here tonight and move on and focus on next week but there can be no getting away from the fact that if we play against Crusaders like we did tonight then we will be making things very difficult for ourselves.”
Devine was without the suspended Patrick McEleney for Friday’s game but the teenage winger will be available for next weekend’s cup final.
“We really missed Patrick McEleney tonight. Some newspapers quoted me as saying that he deserved his yellow card against Shamrock Rovers but I didn’t say that.
“Patrick was in the right and shouldn’t have been sent off last week. Patrick’s only 19 years-old but he’s such a talent and if I am honest, after tonight’s display he’ll be going straight back into my starting XI for next week’s cup final - in fact he’ll be the first name on the team sheet.
“Patrick’s our talisman and we looked absolutely lost without him tonight.”