‘Brilliant night and brilliant season’ – Perth
Dundalk head coach Vinny Perth felt his side ended the season in perfect fashion on Monday night, as they put Linfield to the sword to win the inaugural Unite the Union Champions Cup.
The Lilywhites stunned the Northern Irish champions with a 6-0 win to claim the tie 7-1 on aggregate and collect their fourth trophy of a fantastic season.
After his side’s biggest win of the season, Perth – who was crowned the PFAI Manager of the Year on Sunday – paid tribute to his players after a ‘brilliant’ night that rounded off a ‘brilliant’ season.
On the 6-0 win over Linfield to become Unite the Union Champions…
“It was a brilliant night. To do it at home and to finish the season in that manner was just brilliant. I think the shed really enjoyed it at the end, the crowd. It was just a special way to finish it.
“We’ve had a brilliant season. The whole club got together and rallied behind and I think the way we’ve come out and became champions again is just typical of what we do.
“We’re just a penalty shootout away from the most amazing domestic season of all time, but we’re very proud of what we’ve achieved. It’s been a wonderful season.”
On the difference between the two legs…
“It felt like a European game away from home. We were very tired having played 120 minutes [in the FAI Cup Final], so I had to freshen up. Some people came in who weren’t right at it and it took them a while to get going. I thought we dominated in the second half up there.
“Tonight, the freshness in wide areas, Kelly and Duffy were outstanding. The two full backs were outstanding. The level of intensity was great.
“That’s what we’ve spoken about because in their league they’re not used to that intensity and I thought the intensity of our attacking play tonight was outstanding.
“Again I’m very proud of this group of players and what they’ve achieved.”
On finishing the season with four trophies…
“I would have believed it [at the start of the year], working with this group of players. We spoke about the treble in pre-season. We targeted it and never hid away from it.
“But ultimately the goal of this club is to be league champions. We’ve the highest standards. I want to work at a club that puts you under pressure to win leagues. That means you’re working at the top club.
“No matter what anyone says, no matter what anyone thinks, Dundalk are champions of Ireland and now we’re champions of the island of Ireland.
“We say it loud. We say it proud. Champions of Ireland – that’s what Dundalk are and that’s what we pride ourselves on. We should be very proud of what we’ve achieved as a club.
“It may have been six weeks ago since we lifted the title, but we’re champions of Ireland – don’t let anyone forget it.”