'I don’t think 3-0 is a fair reflection of the game' - Duff proud of players in opening-day defeat

St Pat’s manager Tim Clancy, meanwhile, hailed Darragh Burns’ stunning opening goal.

Damien Duff speaking to the media after Shelbourne's defeat to Pat's.
Damien Duff speaking to the media after Shelbourne's defeat to Pat's.
Image: Ben Whitley/INPHO

DAMIEN DUFF SAID a 3-0 defeat to St Patrick’s Athletic wasn’t a fair reflection of the game that proved to be his debut in the Shelbourne dugout. 

Duff’s was consigned to a loss on his first game as a manager, as Darragh Burns broke with the run of play to score a stunning goal from distance in the 18th minute. Pat’s burnished their lead in the second half, first through Mark Doyle and then Jason McClelland. 

The first two goals were sumptuous and cool finishes respectively, but both were as a result of Shels sloppily giving the ball away in midfield. 

“Listen, the lads knew about it”, said Duff after the game. 

“If you watched the Rovers game last week [in the President's Cup], Pat’s real threats were from set pieces and counter-attack football, so they knew about it, we warned them.” 

Duff, however, praised his players’ performance. 

“That’s the disappointing bit, but I have to say, the lads were absolutely magnificent, I think we created a lot of chances, we got into a lot of dangerous areas. Obviously we couldn’t do anything with it, but I thought they were brilliant. I don’t think 3-0 is a fair reflection of the game.” 

Having been at the centre of the media glare as the new League of Ireland season began, Duff separately told RTÉ that he was happy to have his debut over and done with. 

“I’m glad it’s over and we can move on with the rest of the season. The lads are devastated in there.” 

St Pat’s manager Tim Clancy, meanwhile, was glad to begin the season on a winning start. This too was Clancy’s debut in the dugout for Pat’s, having replaced Stephen O’Donnell in the off-season. 

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“The off-season has been a pretty long off-season going by football standards in Ireland, so when the first game comes around you always want to start with a win. We have those little bits of quality in the team with Chris Forrester, Darragh Burns, Mark Doyle, Eoin Doyle. There’s a lot of quality there. You can see it with the first goal: Darragh picks it up, cuts inside and just buries it to give us a foothold in the game.”


Shelbourne travel to play Drogheda next Friday night, while Pat’s host Sligo Rovers.  

About the author:

Gavin Cooney  / reports from Tolka Park

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