Thursday 23 November 2017

Croly blames 'changed relationship' for Rovers exit

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

SHAMROCK ROVERS have confirmed that assistant manager Trevor Croly resigned due to a breakdown in his relationship with manager Michael O'Neill.

The former St Patrick's Athletic defender, who had been coaching at Rovers since O'Neill took over in December 2008, tendered his resignation before training on Tuesday.

The timing of his decision has raised more questions than answers.

The Hoops have suffered a rare dip in form in recent weeks, drawing against Dundalk and losing to Sligo Rovers. They face league leaders St Pat's on Sunday and will make their Champions League debut on July 12 against Estonian side Flora Tallinn.

"Over the past few months my football relationship with the manager changed somewhat and that ultimately led to this decision," said Croly (below left) in a club statement.

Chairman Jonathan Roche insisted yesterday that O'Neill, who is having talks about a new contract, had his full backing, but admitted that Rovers would have little chance of stopping him moving if a bigger club came in for him.

That could happen sooner rather than later, with reports that Colin Calderwood is set to part company with Hibernian, for whom O'Neill played, in order to come Chris Hughton's No 2 at Birmingham. Bohemians manager Pat Fenlon is also being linked with Hibs.

"I think, contract or no contract, it would be very hard to stand in the way of a manager -- or a player -- who was being offered a move to a bigger club in England or Scotland," Roche acknowledged.

Rovers were last night awaiting the verdict of the FAI's hearing into the alleged racial abuse of Derry City's Eamon Zayed by one of their players, who denied any wrong-doing.

Speculation is mounting that captain Dan Murray may be on the verge of leaving the club for Limerick.

Irish Independent

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