‘It’s like Christmas time here’
There may be 990 minutes of action remaining in the First Division for Bray Wanderers but Pat Devlin is already facing up to the grim reality that the play-offs appear out of the Seagulls’ reach.
Defeat at the hands of Cork City – twinned with victories for Treaty United and Wexford – mean that the Co. Wicklow club are now nine points behind the duo with an inferior goal difference of at least 10.
With an average of 0.85 points per game in 2022, it means it is highly unlikely Devlin’s charges will catch one – let alone both – of Treaty and Wexford.
It doesn’t make for pleasant reading for Bray fans and Friday’s defeat certainly didn’t make for pleasant viewing for Devlin as his side once again contrived to gift-wrap goals for their opponents.
“If you take the good bits out of that I did enjoy, and you look at the three goals that we conceded – you wouldn’t see it at U-12s.
“The first one; nobody went with him. It was a shocking goal to concede. The second one was even worse; we lined up on the 18-yard box and nobody marked anybody. We were blind as a group. I could see it happening and I was shouting and roaring from the sideline to pick up but we’re 0-2 down going in at half-time. We get back in with a good header.
“We had a few players that just didn’t perform in the first half so we’d a little go at them at half-time, but they looked a bit tired; three games in a week. We made a couple of changes and get one back and then I’m thinking we have a little chance. We were going to make another couple of changes and then all of a sudden, we’re 1-3 down.
“It’s like Christmas time here. We’re giving away gifts. But it really isn’t acceptable and it’s not funny anymore. It is what it is but it’s not acceptable.”
Bray’s next three fixtures are against Athlone (A), Treaty (H) and Cobh (A). Those are fixtures that would have been earmarked as potential victories at the start of the season but Devlin fears even with a few good results; it will be too little, too late.
“We’re playing for pride now. Maybe we should be looking at things in a different light now and we might have to. We’ll see.
“What more can I say? It is what it is. It’s getting tough and tougher and tougher, and we are trying and we’re doing this and that, but I can’t keep talking to you and making excuses.
“It’s a hard, hard station for everybody and particularly for players.
“I don’t want sympathy off anyone for them or anything like that; we are where we are because we haven’t been good enough. We need to get better.”