Buckley puts disciplinary trouble down to harsh calls from referees
ST Patrick's Athletic manager Liam Buckley believes that overly punitive refereeing decisions are the reason for his team's poor disciplinary record.
Lee Desmond's dismissal in Friday's scoreless draw with Cork City was the fourth red card in as many games for the Saints.
Buckley is disappointed with the record and believes that officials are being too liberal in terms of dishing out cards. Desmond was sent off for two bookings, the first of which was for holding onto the ball when it was out of play before a Cork throw.
His manager accepted that the player did the wrong thing but feels that Derek Tomney could have warned the youngster instead of immediately producing a yellow.
"He was mullocked into the boards, he picked up the ball obviously to delay it a split second and is booked for it," said Buckley. "Seriously, just pull him over and say, 'Next time Lee, you will be booked'. It puts him right on the edge then.
"The second tackle (a foul on Billy Dennehy) I need to see it back but it's a free-kick and that's about all and to get another yellow card and then you're off? We've had four red cards this season and we need to firm it up. It's a contact sport, a man's game. I know they will say 'go by the rules' but how much has it changed since my time?
"I would prefer the referees to explain to the lads what they are doing wrong and if it happens you will pick up (a yellow) but there are just too many of them being thrown out to be honest."
Buckley's opposite number John Caulfield said afterwards that he was unhappy at the manner in which home players surrounded the referee to complain about decisions.
But the Saints boss argued that the action was justified because the natives were surprised that City's John Dunleavy was still on the pitch after taking a man down when he was on a yellow.
"Killian Brennan went over to the referee and said it to him when Dunleavy had creamed Chris Forrester and Sean Hoare - they took him off because of it - but he (Brennan) was booked for dissent. How do you make sense of that?"
Caulfield added that he felt too many players in the league were going to ground easily, although Saints fans felt Dennehy was guilty of that on the night.
"The game has changed compared to ten to 15 years ago when players were honest when they went in for a challenge," he continued, "Now it's hard to tell because a lot of clever players see people coming and are falling on the ground."