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I don't care about criticism, blasts Kenny

UNDER-PRESSURE Shamrock Rovers manager Stephen Kenny yesterday rounded on his critics, insisting that the Hoops are not in crisis despite their poor start to the season.

The champions completed the first series of games in this year's Airtricity League by losing 3-0 to leaders Sligo Rovers last Saturday -- a defeat which leaves them eight points behind the Bit O'Red.

However, as the Hoops announced a further strengthening of their off-field position through a sponsorship deal with 'The Square', their manager was adamant that he can turn things around on the pitch. "There has been a lot of criticism from various quarters, but I actually don't care about that," he said.

"I'm not happy with the position we're in, but I'm going to roll up my sleeves and make sure we come out of this. We have two games this weekend and have to be thinking about six points."

Defence has been the Hoops' main weakness -- only four teams have conceded more than the 16 goals they have leaked so far in the league. New goalkeepers Oscar Jansson and Reyaad Pieterse have struggled and Kenny didn't shirk the blame for not signing an experienced No 1. "I accept responsibility for that," he said.