Perth admits that it’s a long way back after disaster in Dalymount
Vinny Perth pulled no punches after his side’s 2-1 defeat at Dalymount Park on Friday night, labelling Dundalk’s performance as ‘unacceptable’.
Early goals from Danny Grant and Keith Buckley put Bohs firmly in the driving seat and although Michael Duffy pulled one back with a fine header before the break, Keith Long’s side ran out deserving winners.
The result leaves the Lillywhites in third place, two points behind Bohs and five behind league leaders Shamrock Rovers.
That will increase to eight if the Hoops can beat Derry City at the Brandywell on Sunday and with just 11 games to play, Dundalk’s title hopes look to be fading fast.
“There are no excuses for that performance, it’s not good enough,” said Perth afterwards. “When you get to the top, it’s very easy to get knocked off and we have been knocked off.
“It’s early in the season but at the same time, it’s not. There are 11 games left and we have to accept it. The gap is huge.”
Perth made one change to the side that drew with St Patrick’s Athletic on the opening night of the season by bringing Daniel Kelly in for Greg Sloggett.
The move didn’t go to plan with the former Bohs winger withdrawn after just 33 minutes and with Patrick McEleney injured, Dundalk lacked any real creativity in the middle of the park.
“It’s similar to this time last year when we had injuries in key positions like the number 10 but, again, there are no excuses,” said Perth.
“We were good enough, player for player-wise, to be better than that tonight. We are very happy with the squad but ultimately it has been found out this week and we have to accept that.”
Dundalk entertain Waterford in the FAI Cup on Tuesday night before playing them again in a league game at Oriel Park on Friday night and Perth suggested that changes were on the horizon.
“We probably backed a couple of lads tonight. Brian Gartland has been struggling for the past couple of weeks and is only back and Darragh Leahy was not in the squad tonight. We probably would have freshened it up a little bit but didn’t feel that we could.
“We have to get our momentum back and it’s a big week coming up. I didn’t see tonight coming, to be honest. We will have to review it and learn from it.”
The one positive from the night was the performance of Stefan Colovic. The Serbian attacker started in a more central role before moving back out to the right where he supplied the assist, his second in as many games, for Michael Duffy’s goal.
“As a club, we felt it was important that we brought players in of Stefan’s standard,” said Perth.
“He is an outstanding find. It’s just unfortunate that he signed and had to take a five-month break but the future is bright with players like Stefan at the club.”