Tuesday 24 October 2017

'Just not good enough'

James Rogers

Dundalk vice-captain Brian Gartland insists his side's performance against Derry City on Monday was 'not good enough' and called on everyone to 'step up a level' ahead of Saturday night's visit of St Patrick's Athletic to Oriel Park.

The champions suffered their first defeat of the campaign as the Candystripes came from behind at Maginn Park on Monday to claim a 3-1 win.

After a lengthy spell in the dressing room, each of the Dundalk players left the dressing rooms at the Buncrana venue stoney faced and silent but speaking to The Argus afterwards Gartland didn't mince his words.

'It's not good enough from our point of view,' he said of the performance.

'Conceding three goals is terrible and we didn't create too much either. To go one up and lose isn't good enough. That standard is not acceptable so we'll have to improve on it.'

The 30-year-old, who made his 100th league start for the club on the night, said he felt Dundalk were in a good position following Dane Massey's 16th minute opener but expressed his frustration at conceding an equaliser a minute before the break.

'We were in good control of the game and were good in possession and Dane got a great goal from a great delivery in but I suppose we weren't creating too many chances.

'We were getting in behind them a couple of times and had a few crosses in but we weren't getting too many chances.

'To go one up was brilliant but we shouldn't be throwing away a lead from there, especially in the last minute of the half. It's just disappointing to concede. We've got to see it out until half-time.

'There wasn't even any pressure on us, it was our own throw-in and we were in possession of the ball. It was a knocked down clearance and we conceded from that.

In the second half there wasn't much in the game. We weren't good but there wasn't much in it. I suppose then it was our own downfall giving away goals like that.'

With some changes expected ahead of the Pat's game on Saturday, Gartland said it was up to whoever played to step things up to get Dundalk back on track.

'We've got competition in the team. Look at the bench tonight, it's probably one of the best benches we've had over the last few seasons but it's up to the people on the pitch whoever is given the chance to mark their territory, keep that position and make it their own so, whether it's people coming into the team or the people who are in the team, everyone needs to step up a level and we need to be at it,' he said.

The Argus