'I think his personal attack on me is quite low' - Stephen Kenny responds to John Caulfield's penalty comments
Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny has continued his war of words with Cork City boss John Caulfield after the Rebels manager criticised the lilywhites boss for his comments regarding Dundalk's failure to win a penalty in over a year.
Dundalk were awarded their first penalty in over 12 months at Oriel Park on Monday in their EA Sports Cup win over UCD, but before that it had been over 12 months since they were last awarded a penalty, while Cork had been awarded 13 penalties over the same period according to Kenny.
The former Shamrock Rovers boss said in an interview with Dundalk's club website that "to not get a penalty in a full year when another team gets 13, does that mean I tell our players to go down all the time? I encourage my players to be honest.
"As a club we have to rise above all of that. There is a massive disparity in the decision-making process. Is it Turner’s Cross? Why the disparity?
"We want some evenness in that regard and there has to be a fairness attached to everything.
"I think the referees and assistants are in a difficult position but they have to see through the current trend of manufacturing penalties."
Caulfield responded to Kenny's claims on Monday labelling it an 'astonishing attack' on referee's and that the overall standard of refereeing in Ireland is very good.
“It was an astonishing attack on referees and assistant referees and I’m sure the relevant authorities will deal with it,” Caulfield told the Irish Examiner.
“You know the stats. How many goals have we scored this season? 26 in ten games. In 2017, we’ve had one penalty.
“There are great guys [referees] out there, everyone is doing their best. Some days you get penalties, some days you don’t, but overall the standard is very good. Certainly, I just read it as an astonishing attack on League of Ireland referees.”
Kenny fired back at Caulfield on Tuesday claiming that the Cork manager's comments were a 'personal attack' and that he never criticised the officials as Caulfield had highlighted.
“I didn’t criticise the officials,” Kenny told DundalkSport.ie. “I referenced the fact that players are manufacturing penalties and that referees need to be more vigilant to it. That was the main point of it.
“It’s not an easy job for referees to do that and it’s difficult for them to ascertain that at times. Players are ‘creative’ in doing it, if I can use that word.
“I think his (Caulfield’s) personal attack on me is quite low. As a fellow manager you should never launch personal attacks like that and that’s disappointing."