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'Don't blame the guys, blame me. You can't keep handing teams goals, it has to stop'

Shelbourne boss Damien Duff takes the fall for another dispiriting home defeat at Tolka Park.

A disappointed Damien Duff.
A disappointed Damien Duff.
Image: Evan Treacy/INPHO

DAMIEN DUFF INSISTS it his responsibility for Shelbourne’s rotten run of home form continuing with a 4-1 trouncing at the hands of north Dublin rivals Bohemians.

The Shels boss has now seen his side pick up just one point from six games at Tolka Park this season and rued the manner in which the visitors were able to kill the game with second-half goals.

Bohs cut the home side’s defence open with one simple pass from Ali Coote in the build up to Kris Twardek’s goal to make it 3-1 after 50 minutes.

And as Shels pressed to try and force their way back into this derby, a sloppy pass in the middle of the park from substitute JJ Lunney led to Liam Burt weaving towards goal before his shot rebounded to Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe who had a simple tap in for the fourth in the 67th minute.

“What can I say, here we go again. Pluses to come out of today, before the game even and in the first half, it was the first time I felt a real belief out of them,” Duff began, as he cited the 2-1 defeat to champions Shamrock Rovers here previously when they were hit with a last-minute sucker punch on the break.

max-murphy-runs-into-damien-duff Bohs' Max Murphy runs into Duff on the touchline. Source: Evan Treacy/INPHO

“I think they have wanted it too much at home this season. Too eager to get that win for the fans. We trained here yesterday and you could feel they were a bit more relaxed. That’s a plus going forward, I guess.

“You can’t win a game at any level – whether it be kids, adults, Premier Division football in Ireland or in England if you give away goals like that.

Results here have been poor, the goals have been poor and it’s more often than not when we’re trying to build the game that we give away possession.

“Look at Rovers two weeks ago, it was the exact same thing. All the goals are near on mirror image. Listen, don’t blame the guys, blame me. Set up, whatever, but they have to stop because you can’t keep handing teams goals.

“Without the ball we didn’t feel threatened at all and we could say that most weeks against anyone.”

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Shels came into this game in the back of a stirring comeback win away to league leaders Derry City on Good Friday and now face another trip on the road to play Dundalk at the end of the week.

In comparison to their dire home return, Shels have the second best away form with 11 points from a possible 15, yet Duff is eager to find a balance.

“It is a killer but the lads have been good at scraping themselves up off the floor. They went in one-nil down to Derry on Friday night, so there is no reason why they couldn’t come back and do the same here again today.

But to give them two goals absolutely murdered the game in thesecond half. Two poor goals at that. We will take it on the chin but we will move on.. I know it is disappointing for the fans, a north side derby, but we will get them again.

“I’d take any old win. I don’t care where the points come from but I would just love it for the fans. It’s turning into a special place and I hope there is a bond there between the fans and the team, and that is stays and grows because you can see there has been a proper atmosphere there the last few weeks.

“It’s going over all ground but it’s up to us to shout about. For the first hour of the game here there was a proper atmosphere too but the third and fourth goals obviously killed us.

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