Fenlon bites tongue over Cork refixture
Rovers manager irritated by switch but fears FAI punishment
Pat Fenlon has refused to comment on the rescheduling of Shamrock Rovers' league game with Cork City as he feels it would leave him at risk of incurring a fine and suspension similar to the punishment handed out to Waterford United boss Roddy Collins.
Waterford confirmed yesterday that an appeal against Collins' six-game suspension and €1,500 fine for comments he made about the FAI in his 'Irish Daily Star' newspaper column had been rejected.
The Dubliner described the League of Ireland as a 'shambles' in the course of a piece where he offered his take on the problems with the football environment in this country. Abbotstown officials took a dim view of his comments.
Fenlon is not happy that Rovers' league encounter with Cork last weekend was postponed because of U-21 international call-ups. The refixed game will take place in Turner's Cross on Monday, April 25, just three nights after Rovers host league champions Dundalk in Tallaght.
Cork were able to request a cancellation because two of their players - Sean Maguire and Kevin O'Connor - were in Noel King's squad for their qualifiers with Italy and Slovenia. Hoops midfielder Brandon Miele was also included although he missed the Slovenian trip because his child was unwell.
Rovers wanted the game to go ahead as planned. Cork will also have to cope with fixture congestion as a consequence, but they will have key man Greg Bolger available for the refixed encounter as he will now complete his suspension for a sending-off in Derry by missing tomorrow's trip to Sligo.
"We now have Bohs away, Dundalk at home and Cork away (in a 10-game spell)," said Fenlon. "Look what am I supposed to say? If I say what I feel, I'll be joining Roddy Collins with a six-game ban. So I won't say what I feel but people will know what I feel about the whole thing."
Fenlon will have Miele back in the fold for the visit of Galway United to Tallaght tonight and expects a good reaction from his team after their deflating loss to St Patrick's Athletic at the venue a fortnight ago. He respects the improvements that Tommy Dunne has made to the Connacht side over the winter.
"They are more solid than last year," he says. "They seem to have a settled team, a system of play and a threat up front. We know we're in for a real game."
Killian Brennan, who missed the Pat's reverse through injury, says time has been a healer but acknowledged they cannot afford to drop too many points with Dundalk and Cork making good starts to their respective seasons.
"It's well out of our systems now," he said yesterday. "But we're going to have to stay in touch. Cork have spent heavily this year and I suppose there is a little bit of pressure on them. They'll do quite well. I feel they have a strong squad, a strong 20.
"Dundalk have strengthened and kept most of their players. Obviously they've lost Richie Towell but signed a couple of lads there that are just as good.
"You'd have probably thought St Pat's would put it up to them a bit better (4-0 loss last Thursday), especially after coming off a win in Tallaght. Dundalk are the marker."
The Louth club welcome in-form Derry City to Oriel Park tonight, with visiting manager Kenny Shiels echoing Brennan's sentiments. A good start to the season for the Candystripes means they enter the game level on points with Dundalk at the top of the table.
"Dundalk are the yardstick for everyone," said Shiels. "They're a massive club with a massive budget which they've earned, to be fair. They're top of the tree and strong in all departments."