Nathan Shepperd admits that inconsistency throughout the season killed off Dundalk’s hopes of a top-four finish.
The Lilwyhites brought the campaign to an end with a 5-1 win over UCD on Friday night, a result that saw them end the season in fifth place, two points behind Shelbourne, who overturned a two-goal deficit to beat Drogheda United 4-2.
Damien Duff’s side will secure European football if St Patrick’s Athletic beat Bohemians in the FAI Cup final this weekend, and speaking after the win over the Students, Shepperd said this season was a case of what might have been for Dundalk.
“It was good to finish the way we did but it’s been a frustrating year,” he said. “We were hoping that the results might have swung our way but it wasn’t to be.
“It’s been a season of ups and downs. We’ve had good spells and bad spells and I think the inconsistency killed us in the end.
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“If we stayed a bit more secure at certain points of the season, I’m sure we’d be a lot higher up the table because nobody has had a runaway season.”
The Welshman is one of a number of Dundalk players who are coming to the end of their contracts at Oriel Park but he said he would be very open to extending his spell at the club into a third season.
“There is uncertainty but whatever’s happening behind the scenes is out of our control,” he said.
“From my point of view, I came here and wanted to play as many games as possible so I’m happy with how it’s been so far.
“I’m 23, I’m playing games at a good level. I can’t ask for much more so I don’t see why I’d want to go.”