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Saturday 4 February 2023 Dublin: 9°C
Bryan Keane/INPHO Pat's manager Tim Clancy.
# Reaction
Pat's boss Clancy left to rue individual errors in heavy home defeat to Derry City
Pat’s slipped to fifth following a 4-0 loss at Richmond Park.

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC manager Tim Clancy was left to rue individual mistakes following an emphatic 4-0 loss at home to Derry City on Friday night. 

Having conceded eight games in 12 league games up to last night, Pat’s leaked four in just 90 minutes against Derry, with three of those goals coming in the first 45 minutes. The result, combined with the night’s other scores, means Pat’s have now dropped to fifth, though congestion outside the top two means they are just a point off third place.

“Very much so”, said Clancy when asked to assess a disappointing night for his side. “You concede after three minutes to a good team, and it’s sloppy defending, which is unlike the defence this season. When you’re handing up goals like that, you’re giving yourself a mountain to climb. We can go back to each goal and pinpoint an error in the middle of it. It’s absolutely frustrating, and it shows how far they are ahead of us when we perform like that.” 

Clancy changed his system for this game, starting with a back three, though ambitions of its success were dashed by such an early concession. 

“We’ve seen how they play and there are areas you can look at and think you can try and affect it, but when you concede after three minutes you’re throwing that out of the window.

“When you’re trying to stay in the game and give up [the second] goal, that’s basic defending again. Third goal, we give it away in the middle of the pitch, fourth goal we give it away trying to play it into the middle of the pitch.

“When you’re handing teams in this league goals like that…we’ve seen how important the first goal is in games. When you go behind after three minutes, [there] is a lot of work to do and it’s frustrating because it’s a lot of individual errors. After that you can see we lost a bit of confidence, but it’s on me as a manager to pick them up and get them going for the next game.” 

His Derry counterpart Ruaidhrí Higgins has no such issues in rebuilding confidence at the moment: instead, he is trying to keep a lid on excitement, after a comprehensive win that saw them extend their lead at the top of the league to three points following Shamrock Rovers’ draw away to Sligo.

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” We were six clear a few weeks ago and within two games it was one [point.] So we’re not looking at points clear of anybody, we’re looking at performances and trying to pick up as many points as possible”, said Higgins. 

Of his side’s performance, Higgins was most pleased with the intensity of the work underpinning it, which yielded chances and, above all, goals. The opener came from Matty Smith winning the ball back before finishing Brandon Kavanagh’s classy pass. 

“As good as our attacking play was at times – it was really good – how we pressed the ball and how aggressive we were out of possession was the most pleasing thing, as [assistant Alan Reynolds] said in the dressing room after. It’s as good an away performance as you could wish for. We’re delighted, it’s a big three points at a difficult venue against a good team.” 

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