‘Embarrassed’, ‘terrible’ and ‘ashamed’ were some of the words used by Stephen O’Donnell following Dundalk’s 5-0 loss to Sligo Rovers at Oriel Park on Monday.

On a night to forget, the Bit o’Red became the first team to score five goals at Oriel Park since Shelbourne ran out 5-1 winners on the opening day of the title-winning 1990/91 season.

The result, which leaves Dundalk bottom of the SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier Division table with just one point from the opening three games represents the club’s biggest league defeat on the Carrick Road since 2004 when Bray Wanderers hit Jim Gannon’s Lilywhites for six in the First Division while you have to go back 69 years, to February 1955, to find the last time a Dundalk side fell to a heavier top-flight loss on their own patch when Drumcondra ran out 6-0 winners.

Speaking to the media afterwards, O’Donnell said it was one of the lowest points of his career.

Overall view…
“It was terrible. There’s no other way of describing it. Terrible. The goals we gave up in the first half were inexcusable. That’s the bottom line. It’s a chastening night and it’s really, really disappointing. There’s nothing I can say here that’s going to make people listen and say, ‘Oh yeah, good point’. When you’ve been beaten 5-0 at home, there’s nothing to be said, the result speaks for itself. “

His lowest point as a head coach?
“Yeah, of course it is. You know, we had Galway last year but tonight is worse again. Everybody is very, very hurt. Embarrassed would be the right word, I suppose. Ashamed. Is it too strong a word? I’m not sure; losing at home like that tonight… There has to be massive accountability among us as a group. “

On the team’s preparations…
“The Bohs game being called off was in no way an excuse. We had a good training week, eight or nine days so there’s no hiding place. The scoreline’s out there and the reaction will be what it is, which is totally understandable.”

On George Shelvey’s substitution…
“From a mental standpoint of where we were going into the second half, the best thing to do was bring Ross Munro on and he made a couple of good saves.”

On Mayowa Animasahun…
“Mayowa picked up a head injury just before halftime when he got an elbow into his jaw. He has a concussion. He’ll be monitored and checked. He’s not in any distress but at the time when the decision had to be made, we weren’t going to take any chances.”

On the crowd’s reaction…
“It’s important that the fans stick by us but I also can’t ask them to stick by us irrespective of how we’re doing. Ultimately, if you go 4-0 down, there will be sections like that. That is a given, and I’ve no qualms with that. That is the pressure of being a footballer, that’s the pressure of being a coach, that’s the pressure of being involved in professional football, that’s the life, so I’m not going to ask the fans not to boo if we go 3-0 down. It’s their prerogative, they have a damn right to boo.  The head coach is going to get the flack, and that’s fine but I don’t think the fans turned on the players which is the most important part of it. I always want my players playing with confidence and playing with freedom and I’d hate that dynamic of fans turning on players and players then going within themselves.”

On being under pressure…
“I think any time you lose 5-0 at home, a manager is going to feel some semblance of pressure. That goes without saying but I’m okay with that. That is par for the course but I still have a big belief in the squad, I still have a big belief in the calibre of the players and I still have a big belief in myself and the coaching staff. I know we have a really good environment and I know we have a really good culture here and I’m very confident that we’ll get this moving in the right direction.”

On the trip to St Patrick’s Athletic on Friday night
“They’re all big games but we need to forget about league tables and really hone in ourselves as a group, players and staff and just be a lot cleaner in absolutely everything we do, both sides of the ball. There’s no clear identity at the minute, with or without the ball, and we have to become a team that our supporters, at the bare minimum, know what they’re going to get on a Friday night.”