Monday 19 August 2019

Rovers fans crossed line with personal abuse - Perth

Dundalk head coach Vinny Perth following his side's 1-0 win against Shamrock Rovers. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Dundalk head coach Vinny Perth following his side's 1-0 win against Shamrock Rovers. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Aidan Fitzmaurice

Dundalk boss Vinny Perth claims he was the subject of personal abuse about his family from a section of the home support in his native Tallaght on Friday night.

The champions took a major step in their drive to retain their Premier Division crown when they beat Shamrock Rovers - their closest rivals for the title - 1-0 at the Tallaght Stadium on Friday night to move eight points clear of the Hoops.

Both clubs are back in action tonight, Rovers away to St Patrick's Athletic, while Dundalk are at home to struggling Waterford.

Rovers boss Stephen Bradley insists that the title race is not yet over, claiming that his current crop of players is better than the Hoops side he played in which won the 2010 league title.

"I think we showed that we're a team that will be right there until the end of the season. I can't fault any of the performances. It's a hard one, you get beaten and you're frustrated, but I honestly thought we had control of the game," Bradley said of the 1-0 defeat, which even the Dundalk camp admitted was a smash-and-grab affair, as Rovers were on top for long spells before Seán Gannon nicked the only goal of the game.

Perth and his squad celebrated the win with more vigour than usual and the manager, who grew up in Tallaght and is a former Rovers player, says his celebration was sparked by abuse from the stands.

"I got a lot of personal abuse at different stages, a lot of stuff that was very targeted about me and my family," Perth said.

Targeted

"Tallaght Stadium is the best venue in Irish football at the moment, it's a credit to Shamrock Rovers and it's something that we should all aspire to have. But that was disappointing.

"I probably celebrated the win with our own fans more than I ever have because of what was coming my way, like mentioning people's names in my family, and that was disappointing.

"We respect that that is not what this club is about. I've been here before very briefly as a player, there are amazing people in it, but that disappointed me and I probably celebrated more than I normally would.

"Is it my job to take that? When it gets personal, I think it's crossing a line.

"People might say to me 'this is what happens in football, just get on with it', but this club is too good for that, Rovers are too good for that and I felt a couple of lads crossed the line," added Perth.

Bradley says he will see a reaction from his players when they face St Pat's tonight and he feels they can stay in the race.

"We won on the last day and we weren't as good as this group," he says of that 2010 league win for Rovers. "I was in that dressing room and we were very functional, very well organised, but we weren't as good as this group."

Irish Independent

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