Stephen Bradley. Ben Brady/INPHO
Put some respect on my name

'It’s really poor from Cork' - Bradley criticises City for not giving Rovers guard of honour

‘Fanbase wouldn’t have liked us doing that tonight in front of the Shed’ – City manager Richie Holland.

SHAMROCK ROVERS MANAGER Stephen Bradley has slammed Cork City’s “weak” decision not to give his side a guard of honour at Turner’s Cross tonight.

The tradition to honour the newly crowned champions by applauding them onto the pitch was observed by Derry City last year but interim Cork manager Richie Holland decided against it to avoid a backlash from fans.

He instead presented Bradley with two bottles of champagne before the scoreless draw.

“It’s really poor from Cork. It’s just respect, isn’t it?” said Rovers boss Bradley.

“I’d definitely do it for a team. I don’t understand it. That’s their decision. It is what it is but I think it’s really poor from them.

“Derry did it last year because they recognise it’s hard winning leagues. You have to show up every day, every week, and the least you can do is give someone a guard of honour. Derry showed us that respect last year.

“Their manager’s decision was really poor, awful.

“They want to create a siege mentality, supposedly. I don’t know. I really don’t understand it. He just said they wouldn’t be doing it. His fans wouldn’t be happy. I think that’s so weak. Really poor. You talk about leadership…”

Holland insisted no disrespect was intended by the decision.

“Since I’ve come in, I’ve been beating the drum that it’s Cork against the rest of the world,” he said.

“It’s not a disrespect to Shamrock Rovers or anything like that but I know my fanbase wouldn’t have liked us doing that tonight in front of the Shed.

“I’d be hypocritical if I’m going to be going against our own. I’ll take the flak and I’ll take whatever is to come from the outside but I need to make sure that there’s a mentality here that I have everyone onside for the next two weeks.

“I told Stephen that. I said if the situation was different and we were in a different place in the League table or whatever, I obviously have morals, I would’ve done it. But just for where we are at the minute, the fanbase is so important and I need that togetherness.”

Holland said it wasn’t an easy call to make but it was done with an eye on their relegation play-off against Waterford or Cobh Ramblers.

“I’ve the utmost respect for Stephen and his staff. The champions are the champions at the end of the day but I felt I did my bit by greeting him at the start and doing what I did.

“I felt I would be letting down my own fanbase. I had to look after my own and that was the decision.

“As you say, I’m bringing that Corkness and that siege mentality in. I have to. That’s the only way we can get out of this. I have to have everyone onside.

“If I have a fanbase that is mixed and all over the place, that’s more trouble then for us.

“I hope Stephen can understand that and that if he was in that situation, he could see where it was coming from.”

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