REPUBLIC OF Ireland international James McClean has blasted Roddy Collins, claiming the Dubliner used him as a ‘scapegoat’ for his ‘failure’ at Derry City.
Former Derry City boss, Collins revealed he was under immense stress and was forced to take his children out of school because tweets from the Wigan Athletic winger had led to school yard bullying!
“I don’t use Twitter, but it (McClean’s comment) was brought to my attention by my kids – who took some abuse in the school yard over it because he has a high profile,” said Collins on Newstalk’s ‘Off The Ball’ programme. “So I had to take them out of school.
“It was very difficult last week because the kids were extremely upset and when they are annoyed, I am doubly so. They are my priority.”
However, McClean (23), who was allegedly involved in a heated altercation this week with Collins’ son, current Derry City full-back, Roddy Jr. has hit back at the Dubliner, branding those claims ‘pathetic’.
“Roddy Collins senior has said in the newspapers that my Twitter comments have caused his children to be bullied and he had to take them out of school.
“How, in any way could my football opinion cause that? I didn’t attack his personal life - so how could my opinion of him as a football manager cause that?
“I’m sure there’s a lot of people in the past who don’t rate him as a manager either but I never attacked his personal life in any way and I would never do that to anybody. So I thought that was a bit pathetic to be honest.
“He wanted to use me as a scapegoat. He’s come in and he’s messed up the job and paid for it in the end.”
The former Derry City star who meets up with Martin O’Neill’s Republic squad who take on Turkey at the Aviva Stadium this Sunday, also spoke out about rumours of an alleged bust-up with Collins’ son before a training session at the Brandywell Stadium on Wednesday morning.
McClean, claims he was challenged by Roddy Collins Jr. before the Derry City training session about comments he had made on Twitter and a ‘minor scuffle’ developed.
McClean had said Roddy Collins Jr. ‘wouldn’t get a game in an Astro League.’ which prompted the ‘heated debate’ at Brandywell - an exchange which ‘was over before it started’ according to the Creggan man.
“I was driving past (Brandywell) and called in to see the lads and was chatting to them before training and obviously he (Roddy Collins Jr.) wanted to get whatever he wanted off his chest,” explained McClean.
“I said my piece on Twitter and, at the end of the day, I stand by my opinions,” said McClean. “If he can’t take criticism then he’s in the wrong game. He confronted me about it and I told him the same thing. I told him that was my opinion and he got a bit excited. It was over before it started and there wasn’t a big deal made of it. I don’t have a personal vendetta against Roddy Collins senior or junior, but I gave my view based on a football opinion and I stand by it.
“I don’t rate either of them and they probably don’t rate me. I don’t want negative publicity and I don’t see what I’ve done wrong.
“I told him I don’t rate him as a player - which I don’t. And he took that bad but it was over within 30 seconds,” he concluded.