| 4.2°C Dublin

Foster says sorry to FAI for criticism Club priority for Mannus

DUNDALK boss Ian Foster may avoid a fine and possible disciplinary action from the FAI after he today apologised for comments which were critical of the Abbotstown regime.

Speaking to the media after his side lost 1-0 to St Patrick's Athletic last Friday, Foster expressed several concerns about issues in the game in Ireland, such as the transfer window system, suspensions and the timing of the season.

His comment of "I genuinely think if I knocked on the door at Abbotstown on a Monday morning, there would be no one in" appears to have hit home as Foster and his club today both issued apologies, which could be good news for Foster as he may now avoid a fine from the FAI, who have come down hard in the recent past on managers who expressed criticism of the way the league is run.

"In the immediate aftermath of a disappointing defeat to St Patrick's Athletic last Friday night I made a number of comments to the media in the normal post-match interview," Foster said.

"While a number of points related to my frustration with fixture congestion and the difficulties of adding to a small squad, the thrust of the articles appeared to be strongly critical of the FAI. This was not my intention and isn't representative of my views of the FAI or my relationship with its personnel.

"A number of my comments, which were made tongue-in-cheek, were ill judged and may well have caused offence to people who are working hard to improve standards. I regret and apologise if this was the case."

Club priority for Mannus

SHAMROCK Rovers keeper Alan Mannus hopes he has not jeapordised his international future by deciding to put club before country, after he pulled out of the Northern Ireland squad for an end-of-season tour later this month, writes Aidan Fitzmaurice.

Former Linfield man Mannus had been named in the North's senior squad for a game against Turkey in the USA on May 26 and another friendly in Chile on May 30, but that would have forced the Rovers No1 to miss a vital league game away to Bohemians on May 29, and the League Cup quarter-final tie with Derry City.

"Although I am disappointed to miss out on the tour, my priority at this time is with my club. I look forward to being included in future Northern Ireland squads," said Mannus.