Waterford United manager Gareth Cronin was a happy man seconds after the full-time whistle last Friday night. “I have been involved in this game for a long time and it is not often that I am involved with a winning team on the opening day of the season, apart from last season when we defeated Cork City.
“I decided to play 4-3-3 from the start because I had watched Wexford in a pre-season game and noticed that they play a 3-5-2 formation. The pitch here is huge and I felt that we need to play that system.
“We could have won a lot easier bur listen all that mattered here tonight was the three points on offer and we have got them. It was an ugly win in many ways but if we win over twenty ugly games this season and win the league then everyone will be happy.
“I am quite aware we have work to do in the coming weeks because it was going to be scrappy at times considering it was out first game of the season. I have work to do, but if I did not have that work to do I would not be in a job”.
When quizzed about the fact that three bookings were collected by Waterford players and that captain John Hayes was sent off, Gareth Cronin took some of the blame. “That could be down to me because I tell my players not to pull out of tackles. This was a local derby and with the crowd shouting at the referee all through the game there was bound to be yellow cards.
“I was not happy with the tackle put in by John Hayes. It was a needles tackle but with the crowd chanting ‘off, off off’ the referee was never going to do anything else. Kenny Browne has the makings of a good holding midfield player and he looked good when he had to go back in defence when John was sent off.
“We will get better, I am convinced of that. Bring on Longford Town next week followed by Athlone the following week. This was always going to be a difficult game but we have come through it OK and that is all that matters”, concluded the contented Blues boss.
Mick Wallace, the colourful multi-millionaire manager and benefactor of Wexford Youths, decided to get his side to wear shocking pink jerseys as their away strip for the current season.
This decision has brought a lot of laughter and much mirth from a lot of people who support the game in this country. However, the lady who was selling the shirts on Friday last was having a very busy time as sales of the pink shirts was extremely brisk with many young girls lashing out their €50 to purchase them. As a result of the colour change the club mascot is now a Pink Panther and he entertained the crowd before the game. Mick Wallace was quoted in the all-colour superb match programme as follows.
“Of course I’m in favour of the Pink Panther. Pink is bright and beautiful and requires courage to wear in Ireland as it challenges the sad male macho element in our society. The world belongs to the brave”.
Priceless stuff from the long-haired Wexford boss.