FOOTBALL: Low blow for Derry

Derry City's Nicky Low tussles with Dundalk defender Dane Massey.
Derry City's Nicky Low tussles with Dundalk defender Dane Massey.

Midfielder Nicky Low claims the Derry City players let down manager Kenny Shiels, the fans and everyone associated with the club in Sunday’s disappointing FAI Cup exit to Dundalk.

The 25-year-old cut a frustrated and angry figure after the 4-0 drubbing at Oriel Park and said the players must respond.

“It’s very disappointing. As a team we have let the manager down and everybody associated with the club; the fans and the people who work behind the scenes,” he stated.

“To a man, we never turned up on the night. We had a good travelling support and we let them down. I can only apologise.

“There’s no hiding the fact that the cup was a big thing and everyone is disappointed. Now that we are out now it’s not just a case of, ‘we’ll leave it here’.

“Dundalk were by far the better team and it’s not good enough from us. The two times we have played them this season we have done well so I don’t know what happened on the night, but it wasn’t good enough.

To a man, we never turned up on the night. We had a good travelling support and we let them down. I can only apologise.

Nicky Low

“We had big ambitions to go far in this cup and, yes, we still want to finish third but you don’t want to just finish third as a club. You finished there last year. Where are you going as club? You want to progress every year, so it’s hugely disappointing to be honest.”

Low said the City players went into the tie confident having won their last four games without conceding a goal but he stressed that no one was arrogant.

“We came in confident, but we didn’t come in arrogant,” he insisted.

“We thought if we turned up as a team then obviously we could put on a show, give Dundalk a good game and maybe go through but, to be honest, it was miles from that.

“Dundalk turned up and were miles better on the evening so there are no complaints at all from anyone in our changing room.

“Dundalk deserved it and I wish them all the best but coming here the last time we drew and I felt we could maybe have nicked it that night. I don’t know if we came thinking about that last game, but we knew it was going to be a tough game.

“I hope the boys didn’t come here thinking, ‘Oh we played well here the last time, it’s going to be the same again’ because football comes back and bites you.”

The talented midfielder who extended his loan deal to City from Dundee until after this season’s FAI Cup final in November still feels there’s a big couple of months remaining.

“When I spoke to Kenny (Shiels) about staying on, he talked about the FAI Cup as big and I wanted to be part of that and I thought we had a good chance of maybe going one better this season,” he said.

“The last few weeks we have been playing well so that makes the defeat even harder to take. I don’t know where it came from to be honest.

“Kenny was right to have a go at the players and give us a kick up the backside, because it’s going to be a tough week. We play Dundalk again and if play the same next Sunday then they’ll do the same to us again because they are a good team, they have good players and a good manager, so it’s up to us to bounce back from this defeat.”

The Greenock man held his hands up, admitting Derry were under pressure from start after they conceded in the first minute and he conceded Stephen Kenny’s side could have won by a bigger margin.

“When you concede stupid goals it kills you because you come with a game-plan. When you play any good team, your plan is not to concede right away because their fans get on top of you and their players get a major lift and your backs are against the wall.

“After that we just never recovered. I know at 2-0 we had a few good chances and never took them, but we were still miles away even if we had scored a goal, as Dundalk could have scored a lot more.”