“Poor pitches across league, not just in Derry” says Fenlon

Derry City's Patrick McEleney and Conor Kenna of Shamrock Rovers at the Brandywell on Friday night. Picture Margaret McLaughlin � 10-4-15

Derry City's Patrick McEleney and Conor Kenna of Shamrock Rovers at the Brandywell on Friday night. Picture Margaret McLaughlin � 10-4-15

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ROVERS’ boss, Pat Fenlon, felt a draw was a fair result, suggesting that his side “didn’t do enough to win it.”

He commented: “We’ll take the positives. Getting a favourable result at the Brandywell is always difficult, so I’m happy with a point, given that David O’Connor’s header at the end was probably our best chance of the match. However, we defended well and the two tackles made on Barry McNamee when he was played through were excellent,” noted the Dubliner.

Questioned on Keith Fahey’s controversial dismissal, Fenlon insisted that the referee had got it wrong.

“Look, I’m not going to criticise referees but anyone watching that incident again will see that Keith had been fouled in the first instance. The referee should have awarded a free to us. He didn’t but I’m not going to criticise the performances of referees. I don’t want to takle anthing away from the player, but I believe it was a bad decison by the referee on the night.

Happy with his side’s start to the new campaign, Fenlon felt Rovers had been involved in some tough opening games.

“Were delighted with the start we’ve had. We’ve had some tough games already and I believe we are going to be involved in a very tough league this year.

“We’ve made quite a few changes to the panel and I’m very happy with the squad we have assembled, I think we’re quite decent,” added Fenlon.

And on the poor quality of the Brandywell pitch, Fenlon claimed that “it was the same all over the country, not just at the Brandywell.”

He went on: “It was noticeable that players had to take two or three touches of the ball rather than the one-touch we’re used to in training.

“But I’m not just criticising the surface quality in Derry, it’s happening all over the league and I believe we are continuing to sell ourselves short on that issue.

“If our league is going to be governed by licensing, then surely the quality of the pitches must be taken into consideration. The surfaces are very poor, not just in Derry it’s right across the board and this should have been sorted out before the season kicked-off so that we can all compete on a level playing field,” concluded Fenlon.