Waterford manager Alan Reynolds was close to tears when he spoke after the game. On a night when he should have been on cloud nine after defeating Munster rivals Cork City, the Blues boss found it hard to talk about the decision to take away the European dream from the club and the supporters. He summed up the game before speaking about the horrific news that had come to light 24 hours earlier. “That was our best display since we beat them in Turners Cross back in February. The first 30 minutes was pretty even and they were good during that period but I felt we took over in the second half and there was only going to be one winner. “Mark McNulty kept them in the game with some great saves. We played a system which would hurt them on the counter attack and then what a goal from Shane Duggan and then Zack (Elbouzedi) but that is what big players do, they come up with big goals in big games”, Alan said before opening up his heart about the decision taken by UEFA on Thursday night. “Ah stop. I am still waiting for someone to come along and tell me it’s not true. I am still waiting to come along and tell me everything will be OK. We set out a budget for the season based on the European money and it has been taken away from us.
We had people looking at our ground some time ago and fixtures were moved around to work around our European venture. Quite simply it’s just not good enough. The players were brought in for this and they are hurt, very hurt. It’s gut wrenching it really is. Who says we won’t qualify for Europe again next season but this is so heartbreaking for everyone. I know the supporters were looking forward to the European trip as indeed were yourselves and it has all been taken away from us. I knew the supporters would get behind us tonight. I went out during the warm-up and I just knew they would lift the roof off the place and they did.
“Izzy Akinade and Bastien Hery danced off the pitch tonight and it just goes to show what characters they are. They love wearing the blue shirt of Waterford and you would swear they were born here in Waterford. They are my go to men in many ways. They are wonderful in the dressing room and they lift everyone. They didn’t have the best of starts in many ways but their heads never dropped. I feel so sorry for those two guys, the rest of the players and the supporters. It’s all wrong, very wrong.I fell so very sorry for everyone.
Michael Walsh of course is in there also. Everyone in Waterford is hurting now. It’s been a horrible 24 hours for everyone but we won’t go away because that is the kind of people we are here in Waterford”. concluded ‘Rennie’ as his voice creaked with emotion.