Derry City: Kenny Shiels blames defensive blunders for Cork defeat

Derry City manager Kenny Shiels.
Derry City manager Kenny Shiels.

Derry City manager Kenny Shiels felt elementary mistakes cost his side dearly at Cork City, yesterday afternoon.

The Brandywell gaffer, who was a dejected figure after their loss at the home of the champions, believed his defence gifted Cork their third and fourth goals, which effectively won the home side the points.

Cork's Karl Sheppard and Josh O'Hanlon celebrate at the final whistle' after Monday's 4-2 win over Derry City

Cork's Karl Sheppard and Josh O'Hanlon celebrate at the final whistle' after Monday's 4-2 win over Derry City

“Poor defending - basically the defeat was down to that,” he insisted.

“Elementary mistakes killed us. We couldn’t defend a long ball, but there was a lot of good performances and I thought we were returning to something like we can be when we got to 2-2, but then we conceded two terrible goals.

“Their third goal, the wall breaks from a free-kick, I just can’t believe that. OK it wasn’t a free-kick but we still have to defend it and that was really, really disappointing that the wall broke.

“Then the last goal was a joke goal. I can’t believe why people weren’t taking responsibilty.

“I told them before the game that Karl Sheppard narrows in off the right and goes to the front post, particularly when the ball is down the left side you have to watch him, but he scored two goals like that.

“I can’t believe that we didn’t get the communication line right from the back four for his goal that made it 2-0. I couldn’t believe that and then the free-kick was a killer.

“The wall split and I couldn’t believe that either. Elementary mistakes, yes, they are young players but there’s no excuse for that and it kills us.

“We played really well and we were the better team by quite a bit. We were definitely the better team at that stage when the game was at 2-2, but maybe the inexperience cost us. Things aren’t going well for us at the minute and we aren’t getting any rubs of the green.”

Shiels felt that referee Robert Hennessy played a part in two of Cork’s four goals.

“Their second goal was a blatant foul to us over near the dug-out, but you still have to defend it and their third goal it was never a free-kick. I couldn’t believe he gave it. The crowd was refereeing the game for most of the match and that’s why it’s a hard place to come and get anything from here, because the crowd do referee the game and again we have to accept that there is going to be bad decisions.

“But look, there’s no excuses, it’s me who picks the players and I don’t know what happened to them. However, I’m not happy with it and we have to look at addressing that.”

Scottish centre-back Darren Cole moved into a midfield position and both he and Jamie McDonagh in particular received praise from the Derry boss.

“For a team that has only conceded one goal at home in the league, we have put two in and were right on top. At that moment, where if we could have kept that score-line for another minute, momentum had shifted and I felt very confident that we were going to go on and win the game,” he said.

“We had taken over the control of the game and I felt Darren Cole was the best player on the pitch and Jamie McDonagh did well at right-back. They’ll be saying ‘how the hell did we lose that match’, but we have to take it on the chin and move onto the next game on Friday night.”