After a hectic 24 hours where Dundalk parted company with manager Sean McCaffrey, the Lilywhites picked up their first point at home in three months on Friday night against Shamrock Rovers and caretaker boss Darius Kierans was understandably delighted with the result but speaking to Extratime.ie, there was a hint of disappointment that his side couldn't hold on for victory.
"It was a good performance. A little bit disappointed that we didn't hold on for the win. Shamrock Rovers scored at a stage in the game when they hadn't really created any chances for a few minutes before that so that was frustrating but with the calibre of player that they have they were always going to be dangerous. Daryl Kavanagh came on and caused us all sorts of problems. He scored one and could have had another only for Peter Cherrie."
Dundalk managed to contain the champions for the majority of the 90 minutes and it got them a point and so nearly all three. Kierans admitted that their aim was to frustrate the Tallaght outfit and see what they could get.
"I thought the performance from the players, the work rate was first class. We defended deeply and tried to hit Rovers on the break. We conceded possession for a lot of the game which was the game plan and to try and hit them on the counter attack so to a man it had to be a disciplined performance and it was.
"Even though Shamrock Rovers had around 65% of the possession I thought we created an equal amount of chances and had the better ones towards the end."
The 33 year-old was thrown into the deep end following the departure of manager Sean McCaffrey the evening before and was tasked with ending a home losing streak of five in a row. Kierans spoke of how the team had been prepared in the week and was pleased with the response he got from the squad.
"I've been training with the boys every day of the week so it wasn't too bad. Sean departed yesterday(Thursday) and it was a big blow to us all. It's disappointing to the whole lot of us. I spoke to the players straight after I found out on the phone. We had prepared for the game during the week as normal anyway so we were prepared for the way we were going to play tactically. They knew what they had to do. It was strange speaking to the players without Sean but I definitely got the response I was looking for."
The former Ireland underage manager departed quite suddenly on Thursday evening but it didn't really come as a shock to assistant manager Kierans and he paid tribute to the departed Monaghan man.
"It wasn't really a shock to me, no. These things happen in football but Sean McCaffrey is a great football man. He has done an awful lot for football in this country and I have learned a lot off him in the past seven months. He wanted to move the club in a certain direction. At this time the board didn't feel like it was the direction they wanted to go but that's football, that's the way it goes.
"He is well thought of within the club by everyone, players, coaching staff and the board but it just didn't work out and we're all sad to see Sean go."
In the wake of McCaffrey's departure, the Drogheda native was handed the reins for the match on Friday night, however he is unsure whether he will get the job on a permanent basis and with him due to meet with the board in the coming days, Kierans admits he loves working at the club.
"It's all happened so quickly. Sean rang me and told me he would be leaving his position and then the club rang me to tell me I'd be manager tonight (Friday). I'll sit down with the board in the next few days and we'll see what's best for all concerned. It's no secret that I love working at Dundalk Football Club and have done for the last two years. We'll have to see where it goes but you never know. I haven't had time to think about anything just the game."