ST PATRICK’S Athletic manager, Liam Buckley refused to get drawn on his reasons for omitting defender, Shane McEleney from his starting XI over the past three months following claims the Derry man has been frozen out at the Inchicore club.
The ex-Derry City defender didn’t travel with the match day squad on Friday night and hasn’t played for Buckley’s team since being substituted at half-time in the 3-3 draw with Longford back on May 13th.
We have a squad of players. We have 20 odd in our group and I’ve got to make decisions every week in relation to who’s not in the team.Liam Buckley
When asked about his reasons for not involving the former N. Ireland U21 international after a reported fall out with the player, Buckley simply explained he had a large squad to deal with.
“We have a squad of players,” he said bluntly. “We have 20 odd in our group and I’ve got to make decisions every week in relation to who’s not in the team. Fellas are going to be unhappy to be on the bench and there’s going to be fellas who are unhappy not to be even on the bench, so that’s just it.”
It’s understood McEleney was carrying an injury going into Friday’s match anyway but the Shantallow man believes he’s played his last game for the Inchicore club.
Meanwhile Buckley believes there’s still plenty to play for this season despite his side’s disappointing midtable position and claims Friday’s draw with City was probably a fair result in the end.
“In our position we’re obviously trying to get the win. I thought we created quite a few chances and on another night we might have won it.
“But to be fair to Derry I thought they played reasonably okay as well so a draw is probably a deserved result.
“Gerard (Doherty) did really well with a couple of one-on-ones but he’s a top keeper, we know that through the years.
“We were hoping to win and pull ourselves back into it as there’s quite a bit of the season left to go. There’s 13 games left and a lot of points to be played for so we’ll see how many we get from now until the end of the season.
“We’re disappointed with the season so far. We’re midtable and the table doesn’t lie and it won’t lie at the end of the season. We need to improve and there’s better in us.”