Damien Duff has told his Shelbourne players that moral victories will not be tolerated and anyone who settles for defeat will be shown the door.
But the Reds’ manager admits they need to make better use of the ball after a start to the season in which they haven’t scored in three of their four league games while the surface at their home ground, Dublin 3, is a cause for concern. “Forget Save Tolka Park, save the pitch or give us a new pitch,” Duff quipped after Friday’s home loss to Derry City.
In that game, Duff faced Ruaidhrí Higgins, his former colleague on the FAI coaching staff under Stephen Kenny, and City went home with the points thanks to a shaky second-half goal from Patrick McEleney. Given their status as title contenders, a win in Derry was not unexpected, but Duff was angered at the suggestion that losing ‘only’ 1-0 to the league leaders was a sign his team were close to the main contenders.
“May I swear?” Duff responded to the suggestion of moral victory. “No that comment is absolutely b****x to me and that’s what I said to the lads if it’s one of them: ‘Oh it’s fine because we lost 1-0 to Derry we can fuck everyone. **** leave the building and bring in a new staff and squad.
“Did we create a lot on Friday? No. We were good on the ball, no, but we never felt threatened. But to go in and say, ‘It’s okay, we’ll make it 1-0?’ No, shit, no. No chance. So excuse my French.
“I didn’t see that, but just letting them know that’s not what I think either, so absolutely not. I didn’t realize it but never will because I threw my hat on the guys, they are a great group.
A bumpy McEleney goal won a bumpy game in which Duff felt a draw would have been a fair result, but his side failed to manage a single try against Derry.
“For me, it’s about creating chances by just playing it. I’m a very simple coach who only cares about football,” he said.
“If you don’t have the football that we didn’t have for a long time on Friday evening, you can’t create a chance.”
https://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/league-of-ireland/damien-duff-turns-air-blue-with-talk-of-moral-victory-against-derry-41417986.html Damien Duff turns blue when he speaks of a “moral victory” against Derry