Dundalk head coach Stephen O’Donnell has challenged his players to rid themselves of the inconsistency that reared its head again in Friday night’s 2-0 defeat against Shamrock Rovers at Tallaght Stadium.

Trailing to Aaron Greene’s first-half strike, Dundalk were handed a route back into the game early in the second half when Ronan Finn was sent off, but for the second week on the trot, the visitors failed to make the extra man count and Greene’s second goal secured Stephen Bradley’s men the win.

Speaking afterwards, O’Donnell, whose side has taken just one point from the last 12 on offer, leaving them in sixth position, couldn’t hide his frustration.

On the mistakes…
“Poor decision-making is costing us. We can have no excuses. Rovers had a man sent off after 50 minutes so we played almost 45 minutes against 10 men. We needed to be better initially when the red card happened and be more composed and play within the principles to exploit a man advantage and we just didn’t do that.”

On playing against 10 men
“The five minutes prior to them getting the second goal just wasn’t good enough. We needed to pen them back and we didn’t. We know what way we want to go about it when we’re playing against 10 men but we just got lured into a trap of keeping it in tight spaces, especially just after they had the man sent off and that cost us with the counterattack for the second goal.

On bouncing back…
“We have a huge game against UCD on Monday now where we need to get a response. The players need to start putting their hands up now. Rather than having a good quantity of players, we need to have good quality. It’s a big week ahead. When you go through a season you’re going to have peaks and troughs. That’s the game. You have good stretches and bad stretches and we’re in a bad one at the minute. We’ll see how we react. You have to work hard to turn it around.”

On the season to date…
“There are good signs in patches but we need to be more consistent and we need to show our truer face, week in, week out. For too long now we’ve had good spells and little glimpses and at other times we’ve looked a bit uncertain. We need to be more consistent, all of the time.”