JAMES McClean has hit out at the 'shocking' behaviour of Derry City manager, Kenny Shiels and some of his players who, he claims, went for drinks with fans after Friday night's hammering at home to Dundalk.
The former Derry City winger questioned whether or not this 'younger generation' of City players' even care about losing matches, adding they should 'at least pretend it hurts'.
The Candystripes were rolled over by Stephen Kenny's side at Brandywell as they fell to a seventh league defeat in 10 which saw them surrender fourth spot to Shamrock Rovers who they meet after the mid-season interval in Tallaght on June 29th.
And while the players have been excused from duty to enjoy a well earned break after a relentless run of fixtures in the first half of the season, Republic of Ireland and West Brom winger, McClean took umbrage to the fact they had left Brandywell to go on a night out for Ronan Curtis' leaving party following his transfer to Portsmouth.
Only a few representatives of the club attended the function which was arranged as a part of the Brandywell Pride Supporters' Club's Player of the Month awards while Shiels is understood to have stayed for just a short time.
"Correct me if I'm wrong, but do this younger generation of players care about losing football matches anymore? Do they actually take it personal and hurt? . . . regardless of the occasion, this occasion being a leaving party for a player moving clubs come on seriously! [sic]
"When you are thumped at home 4-0 among some heavy defeats lately then you don't go sitting in a bar with fans drinking laughing and joking . . hours IF even after the game, what ,makes it all the worse is that the manager is there too!
"He should be leading by example! No wonder the club has been nowhere close to even challenging for the league title in recent times! Shocking from the manager and the players that attended of Derry City . . . at least pretend it hurts at the very least."
Derry City defends actions of players
In response to McClean's comments, Derry City Football Club issued the following statement defending the team's reasons for attending a prearranged function, claiming the club has 'no reason to believe that management or players acted beyond the club's interests'.
The statement read: "A number of players and management attended a pre-arranged function after Friday night's game against Dundalk to thank our clubmate Ronan Curtis for his service to Derry City.
"All teams in the Airtricity League began a short break after Friday's match. The club is very aware of how hard our players and management have worked this year and also of the demands that will be placed on them in the second half of the season.
"It goes without saying that all involved at Derry City were very disappointed with the result of Friday night's game, however having now been given several days off we have absolutely no reason to believe that management or players acted beyond the club's interests by attending this low-key function."
It's not the first time McClean has had a pop at Shiels having claimed he had become 'frustrated and very disappointed reading some of the silly and stupid comments made by Kenny Shiels in the media' last year.