DFC | Kenny hits back at Cork City boss

Kenny: Caulfield’s comments were a ‘a personal attack’

Dundalk FC manager Stephen Kenny. PICTURE: CIARAN CULLIGAN

Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny has hit back at John Caulfield’s comments following the Leesiders’ win over Bohemians on Friday night, describing them as ‘a personal attack’.

Caulfield was responding to an article which was published on Dundalk FC’s website last week where Kenny bemoaned his side’s lack of penalties over the past 12 months — in comparison to Cork’s 13.

Kenny’s words didn’t go down well with the Cork City boss, who called on the FAI to take action against his Lilywhites counterpart.

“It was an astonishing attack on League of Ireland referees and assistant referees. I’m sure the relevant authorities will deal with it,” said Caulfield.
“How many goals have we scored this season? 23? 26 with the President’s Cup, so in 2017 we’ve had one penalty.
“I think the authorities need to deal with it,” he repeated. “It’s an astonishing attack on the referees and the assistant referees. That’s the way I read it.”

However, speaking after his side’s EA Sports Cup win over UCD on Easter Monday, Kenny said that Caulfield’s criticism was well off the mark.

“I didn’t attack or criticise the officials,” said the Lilywhites manager.
“I think his (Caulfield’s) personal attack on me is quite low. As a fellow manager you should never launch personal attacks like that and that’s disappointing,” he added.
“I referenced the fact that players are manufacturing penalties and that referees need to be more vigilant to it. That was the main point of it.
“It’s not an easy job for referees to do that and it’s difficult for them to ascertain that at times. Players are ‘creative’ in doing it, if I can use that word.”

Dundalk were awarded their first penalty in over 12 months at Oriel Park on Monday but it was the two controversial spot kicks awarded against his side by referee Jim McKell in the 3–1 defeat to Bray Wanderers on Good Friday that was very much at the forefront of Kenny’s mind.

“I can’t tell you how disappointed I am about the whole episode on Friday,” he said.
“I don’t think I’ve ever felt as low as I did after that experience. It’s very unfair on the players to work hard all year and then have to tolerate that. It was a real low point.
“Neither of them were penalties. It was a real shocker and I can’t tell you how let down everybody feels by it.”

Friday night’s defeat was Dundalk’s third in their first nine games and leaves them sitting nine points adrift of Cork City.

“Up until Friday I was happy with our start overall, considering all the things that have happened this year,” said Kenny.
“We have had a lot of problems. We are rebuilding somewhat and I accept overall that Cork have been the better team this season so far.
“They have been very consistent and I am not taking anything away from them but what happened on Friday was an exceptional, exceptional low point.
“It’s not something I want to be a part of, a league with that sort of stuff going on. I wouldn’t want to be part of that and nor should anybody else.
“When it comes to things like fixtures and things like that, we can deal with whatever is thrown at us.
“That’s stuff that is within your control that you have no control or comeback from what happened on Friday night,” he added.
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