'We should have had a stonewall penalty' - Derry City manger Declan Devine
Derry City manager Declan Devine was fuming that his side didn't get a second half penalty, at Dundalk.
Devine felt that Brian Gartland brought Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe down inside the box, but referee Neil Doyle waved away the protests.
“There was nothing in the match tonight (Friday), we took the game to Dundalk, we have been positive in our play and passed it really well, we created chances, smashed the post and we have a stone wall penalty turned down," he insisted.
“I don’t know what we have to do to get a penalty. I have backed the referees, I give them all the credit as I know how difficult their job is but even their management staff, everybody in the ground has seen it was a stonewall penalty.
“That’s the fine margins, there’s big prizes, with big prize money handed out at the end and it’s a big decision, which I have to see it back again, but I’m very, very disappointed that we didn’t get something from the match.
“However to come to the home of the league champions, who have already won a double and are potentially going to go on and win the treble and be positive, I’m proud of the players
“There has been nothing in the games, every time we have played them there has been nothing in the game tonight, so I’m disappointed but we have still got three big games to play."
The defeat was slightly softened after fellow European hopefuls St Patrick's Athletic suffered a surprise 2-0 home loss to Waterford.
“It’s not a lost opportunity because the St Pat’s result has helped us,” he explained.
“I honestly believe that we are the third best team in Ireland. I know Bohemians and St Pat’s will have something to say about that but I think over the course of the season we have been exceptional.
“Now it comes down to the business end of the season, it comes down to six last days of the season where we have got to get two wins to make sure that we get into Europe.
“The biggest positive we take from the Dundalk game is that if we win two out of our last three matches we’ll have European football next year, that’s the biggest plus.
“We have played 33 games, there has been nobody who have ran over the top of us, there has been nobody who has spanked us, the way that they have been spanked in recent seasons.
“So the boys are very positive in the changing room and the guys have given everything for the football club and everything for the people of the city and the ultimate thing for us is to make sure that we quality for Europe.
“If we get two wins out of three, we’ll be there.”
With no game next week because Eoin Toal and David Parkhouse are on international duty with N Ireland U21, Derry have three games in the last week of the season and Devine wants his players to recharge the batteries and give it one last push.
“We have two players away on international duty, yes we would like to play again next weekend, we would like to play in the Brandywell next week, but we can’t, so we are going to have to do it the hard way,” he added.
“That has been the case all year but the players have been fantastic and I can’t complain about anyone of them.
“Again the players have gone to the very final whistle and kept going and kept going and our fitness levels are magnificent and if we can come to the champions and play like we did then we shouldn’t have any fear for the rest of the season."