Skipper Barry McNamee felt Derry City didn’t do quite enough to get anything at champions Dundalk.
The Candy Stripes huffed and puffed but never really tested goalkeeper Gary Rogers, but the Ramelton man conceded Grant Gillespie was unlucky with his second half effort, which came back off the post.
McNamee was also annoyed at the manner in which Daniel Kelly scored the only goal of the game.
“I don’t think we were fully at ourselves tonight, but in saying that we still gave a good account of ourselves, there was nothing in the game,” he insisted.
“We speak all the time about Sean Gannon’s threat down the right side and three boys got sucked to the ball and he has ran off them and to be fair it’s a great cross and it was obviously too close range for Pete (Peter Cherrie) to do anything about it.
“So yeah it’s obviously a sucker punch but we reacted well and Grant (Gillespie) hit the post and we had a half penalty shout, but we didn’t do enough to get anything from the game.”
The midfielder, who had a glorious chance to give Derry an early lead but he fired wide with only Rogers to beat, admitted Friday night’s encounter didn’t have the same tempo as their previous match against the champions.
“I suppose I just snatched at it but I don’t know if it’s that I’m not having much luck in front of goal this season, I don’t know, but it is what it is,” he added.
“But we were a bit lacklustre in front of goal and even in the final third we never cut them open at any stage tonight.
“We know there’s work to be done but we are still in a good position heading into the last three games, so there’s a lot of positives as well.
“We told before we came down that it was going to be like a party atmosphere, they had just won the league and it was their first home game since they won it, so obviously the crowd was enjoying it, but it wasn’t that high tempo of a game and I suppose we kind of got sucked into that.
“We probably weren’t fully at ourselves, but they are the champions and they went out and done a job again tonight, but we just have to look forward to our remaining three games.”
With no game this week, Derry then finish the season with three games in six days starting at Sligo Rovers, before finishing with a pair of home games against St Patrick’s Athletic and Finn Harps and McNamee knows two wins from those matches will secure European football for next season.
“We had a lot of big games in recent weeks and we have three big games to come but we have a bit of a break now, as we have no game next week so after getting a couple of days off to get the bodies right, we’ll then come back in and getting ready for the Sligo game in a few weeks time.
“We’ll probably still get a good bit of hard work done this week and make sure we keep ourselves ready for the following week, as we have three games in six days to end the season, obviously that’s not ideal.
“But we have done the work throughout the season and we are ready for these sorts of occasions.”