Monday 18 December 2017

Collins parts company with Derry

Derry City manager Roddy Collins. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
Derry City manager Roddy Collins. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

RODDY COLLINS' tempestuous seven-month reign as Derry City manager ended last night after they agreed to part ways following discussions between the Dubliner and Candystripes chairman Philip O'Doherty.

Collins was under pressure after picking up just three wins from his opening 13 games, although his relationship with players and staff was as much a talking point as performances on the pitch.

He was booed off the pitch after last Friday night's 1-0 defeat to Shamrock Rovers, but that game was overshadowed by the absence of his assistant Peter Hutton, who was sent to watch St Patrick's Athletic play Cork City amid speculation of a falling-out.

Hutton will now stand in to take control of first-team affairs.

Collins also sidelined top scorer Rory Patterson for a period and sent him to play with the reserves in Donegal last month – along with another regular Shane McEleney – on the night that the shot-shy first team failed to beat UCD.

Ireland international James McClean, a former City player, welcomed Collins' departure via Twitter, and criticised his "poor signings" and "negative tactics/team selection."

After conceding an injury-time goal to draw with Shamrock Rovers on the opening day and then losing against Cork the following week, Collins failed to build any kind of momentum in the job.

It's understood that the Derry directors had grave concerns about the team's direction from the early weeks of the campaign.

After the game against Rovers, Collins insisted that he was capable of turning it around in an extraordinary interview with local media during which he questioned the overall attitude around the club.

"This is a professional football club – it's not a YMCA and it has to be turned into one because it's built on sand.

"If it's not done right now, it's finished for the next 10 years. I don't care what kind of money you throw at it and who you want in to manage the club or assist the manager," he said.

"I'm building solid foundations where it's not the YMCA. If people get hurt and upset on the way, I'm sorry but that's life. Nothing comes easy."

"I've experienced it before in Dalymount (as Bohemians boss) and turned it right around. I'm not far off."

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