STEPHEN KENNY said he was "annoyed" with his Shamrock Rovers players after they slipped to a second heavy defeat in three games on Monday night.
The Hoops boss wasn't naming names, but after giving a number of his squad a chance to prove themselves in the 3-0 Setanta Cup semi-final first leg defeat to Derry City -- 10 days after they lost 5-1 to St Patrick's Athletic -- Kenny wasn't hiding his disappointment with his charges.
"I've given some players tonight an opportunity and they haven't taken it," he said. "It's a setback for us for sure.
"The dynamic of the game is different because you have 10 men but to lose 3-0 is a poor result at home. There is no getting away from that. I think we prepared well, we were ready for it and I felt we had a good shape to the team.
"It's not so much a worry that we have conceded two matches later, but I am annoyed we have given ourselves a mountain to climb here.
"Obviously Reyaad's (Pieterse) sending off is huge, but still, we should have been better. We should have defended better than we did -- particularly for their third goal. I'm really disappointed with that."
While Kenny wants to win the cup and now faces an uphill battle at the Brandywell on Monday, the future of the competition appears in question once again after just 890 people came to last Monday's match, while there were also less than 1,000 at the second semi-final between Crusaders and Sligo Rovers at Seaview.
Considering the holders attracted 3,200 to their league match with Dundalk on Friday, it was a disappointing turnout for a semi-final, but Kenny believes the competition should be maintained.
"I don't have enough knowledge of the workings of it to make an informed comment on it," he said.
"There was not a huge crowd at any of the games. There was a very small crowd in Cliftonville when we were up there in the last round.
"It is a competition that we wanted to get a result in. I know we made a lot of changes but the players we put in, I felt, were all good players.
"I wanted to put pressure on the players who were in the team and I wanted that element of competition. I wanted to try and get a result."