Stephen Henderson was clear in his views when he spoke after the defeat to Shelbourne. This game brought an end to a bad few weeks which also saw the Blues lose in the league to Monaghan United, Limerick and to Sligo in the FAI Cup.
“We played very well tonight because we had fresh players to bring in and that is something we did not have during the past month or so because of injury and suspensions. We dominated this game against a Shelbourne team who in my view will go on and win the league.
“There are a number of reasons why we came up a little short in the league. The cup runs (FAI and EA Sports Cup) were a great journey for the club, especially the supporters, but all of those games added to the total of games we had to play. We have had to play something like 45 games this season to date and that is too much for a part-time team.
“We also had a problem scoring goals from the middle of the park. We had to depend too much on players such as Willie John Kiely and especially Graham Cummins to score. To be a force in any league you need the midfield players to be chipping in with goals and that was something we did not have this season.
“Don’t get me wrong, I am proud of the lads and the manner in which they performed for me all season, but the size of the squad, lack of goals from the middle of the park and the cup runs have cost us unfortunately.”
Plans for next season will be put into place almost immediately following that game and although nothing has been announced officially, it is understood and the manager and the management committee are already keeping tabs on new players for next season’s campaign.
It will be an extremely interesting close season within the corridors of the FAI at Abbotstown. With so many clubs in dire financial trouble in the Premier League, there could be a number who have a lot of questions to answer before they are granted participation in the league next year.