Saturday 27 May 2017

Fenlon: Bohs woe not players’ fault

BOHEMIANS boss Pat Fenlon has hit back at the critics – and a section of his own fans – for the reaction to his side’s Champions League exit last Tuesday night, insisting that the club’s current financial turmoil is not down to just one defeat.

Speaking after his side’s win at Bray on Friday night, the former Shelbourne manager labelled a small section of the Gypsies support that travelled to Wales for the second round second leg defeat to The New Saints as “gobs****s.”

He was also unhappy with the treatment of his players after the 4-0 hammering, insisting that the club is now faced with huge cutbacks thanks to financial mismanagement over a number of years, not just the result of one poor performance on the pitch.

“A lot of the stuff that has been said and written about the players and in relation to the club was well over the top,” said Fenlon.

“I was critical after the game and rightly so.

“The players know that and they're their own biggest critics, they know themselves they didn't perform. I think to blame the players for one performance and that the club is in crisis because of that is very harsh.

“That's not the reality. The reality is that the club is in crisis because of what has gone on over a three or four-year period, not one game.”

Despite a turbulent week, the Bohs fans came out in force at the Carlisle Grounds on Friday and Fenlon believes that the positive reaction they received at the Wicklow venue was indicative of the club’s hard-core fan base.

“The genuine supporters at this club have been very good at this club since we've been here and I think they appreciate that this is the best team the club has ever hard, in terms of trophies.

“You get the genuine fans here, not some of the gobs****s who were in Wales. They were a minority in fairness. The majority there got behind the team, but here you get the genuine fans who follow us all over the country and they're always good to us.”

After an impressive performance at Bray on Friday night, Bohemians continued their recovery from the European exit with a 2-1 friendly win over Premier League side Aston Villa in front of a bumper 4,000 crowd at Dalymount Park on Saturday.

It was a familiar face in the shape of Conor Powell who opened the scoring for Bohs 20 minutes in, capitalising on Brad Friedel’s shaky clearance to send a delightful lob over the American.

But it was a virtual unknown who won the game for the Dubliners after John Carew had headed home an equaliser from a perfect cross from tricky winger Marc Albrighton.

Enzo, a 17-year-old French trialist who previously played for Paris Saint Germain, smashed an unstoppable drive past Friedel in the 80th minute to shock Martin O’Neill’s men and send out a message to any potential suitors.

BOHEMIANS – O’Connor, Doherty (Dwayne 90), McGuinness, Oman (Haro 67), Powell; Dixon (Brennan h-t), Higgins, Dempsey (Cronin 75), Quigley (Burke 77); Greene (Madden h-t), Byrne (Enzo 61).

ASTON VILLA – Friedel, Lichaj (Beye h-t), Dunne, Clark (Cuellar h/t), Shorey; Albrighton, Petrov, Reo-Coker, Downing (Bannan 70); Agbonlahor (Carew h-t), Young.

REF – N Doyle (Dublin).

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