SHAMROCK Rovers boss Trevor Croly admits that frustration got the better of Hoops winger Seán O'Connor in Friday's Dublin derby defeat to St Patrick's Athletic.
Ex-Saint O'Connor was dismissed early in the second half of the game at Tallaght, a 4-0 defeat for Rovers, and as he was being taunted by Saints fans while he left the field, O'Connor made a hand gesture towards the supporters.
The winger was a popular figure in his two spells as a player with Pats but he angered Saints fans early this season when he said that his former club were "lacking in ambition" and "never have a winning mentality", comments which sparked a reaction from Pats fans.
Given that his one-fingered gesture was made in front of the fourth official, and was also captured by photographers with an image which has been widely seen since Friday night, O'Connor could face a suspension longer than the standard one-match ban.
"That was more frustration there, normally you would be really critical but we will talk to Seán," said Croly, whose side are now 14 points behind Pats.
"There was a massive amount of frustration there, we are all human and maybe if you prod us enough we react. That is as frustrated as Seán has been in his life."
Croly was at a loss to explain how his side lost 4-0 at home despite a period of dominance in the first half, though Rovers were angered by a dubious red card for Derek Foran and a resulting penalty which gave Pats a 2-0 lead.
"The lads played well, they played for each other and worked for each other, you can't really ask for any more from them," added Croly.