Dundalk suffered another league defeat on Friday night, this time going down to Shelbourne 1-0 at Oriel Park. Despite their good form in the FAI Cup, their league form has been uninspiring and speaking after the match, interim manager Darius Kierans felt his side deserved something from the game but conceded the goal before half-time was a body blow.
"I didn't think we played particularly bad. I thought over the balance of play we were the better team over the 90 minutes. We gave away a very poor goal just before half-time and it killed us really."
Kierans felt that the first half was poor from both sides and bemoaned the manner in which his side conceded the winning goal, however, he declared himself happy with how the Lilywhites performed in the second half and thought they didn't get the luck they needed.
"It was a poor first-half from both teams. I don't know what it was, there was no urgency at all. We had one or two good chances early on and probably should have taken the lead. I thought we were going in at half-time 0-0 and the goal we gave away was just terrible from our point of view. We gave him too much space.
"Second half I was delighted with the players commitment and effort. On another day we would have two or three. We had one or two cleared off the line and some good deliveries from Griff (Mark Griffin). Michael(Rafter) had a good chance and in the dying minutes, we are going for the goal we bring on Barry Conlon and Mark gets sent off."
Mark Griffin was given a straight red card for the home side after an alleged elbow on Brian Shortall despite no protest from the player and Kierans feels it was a poor decision and is confident that the club will appeal it.
"Mark's been a massive player for us this year. He's scored a lot of very important goals. I don't think it's a sending off from where I'm looking at it. Mark has said he hasn't done anything and the referee has said he has lifted his hand back and elbowed him in the jaw but we'll have to have a look at it again but if it's not true, we'll have to appeal it. It looked a poor decision"
The Louth club are now eight points adrift of Bray Wanderers at the bottom of the Premier Division and facing a playoff spot in November. The 33 year-old Drogheda native concedes that they are destined for bottom spot but admits they have already have begun scouting their possible opponents.
"It's looking like the playoffs. Bray have got a point against Sligo and UCD have gone and won in Derry. We'll keep going, we have a couple of games coming up but there's no doubt - where we are, we'll have to start looking at the playoffs."
"We've had a look at the Longford and Waterford already but there are points to play for and we need a little bit of luck but at the minute we aren't getting it.