Under-pressure Shamrock Rovers manager Stephen Kenny has reacted harshly to criticism from RTE pundit Richie Sadlier
After injury forced him to retire from football, Sadlier was appointed Chief Executive Officer of St Patrick's Athletic, lasting just over a year before resigning in November 2009. Kenny used Sadlier's CEO position as evidence that the pundit was in no position to judge.
Speaking to the Irish Daily Star, Kenny hit back: "As chief executive of St Pat's, they spent millions and won nothing. They didn't win a trophy. They changed managers and they had managers flying in and out. I don't mind accepting criticism, but he is trying to be sensationalist.
"Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I am not normally sensitive to criticism. I am in the game long and enough and you are there to be criticised. That is part of it. But I think his comments were drastic. I just think for someone who was chief executive, they wasted millions and won nothing. They ran a club with a ridiculously high budget, an astronomical budget, and ultimately they didn't win a cup or a league or nothing."
Moving on from Sadlier, Kenny admitted that his team had underperformed against Bohemians last weekend in the 4-0 defeat, but felt that the league title was not out of Shamrock Rovers' grasp just yet. "It was a bad night against Bohs and we can't get away from that," Kenny admitted.
"As the manager I deserve criticism for the defeat and I am not shying away from that. But we are only eight points behind with 16 games to go and we are in all competitions. We are still capable of challenging for everything.
"We have a big game on Sunday against St Pat's. I know it's an important game for us. St Pat's are an excellent team. They have been playing very well this season and have been getting a lot of plaudits, and rightly so. But if we win on Sunday, we are just a point behind them. That's the reality, if we win on Sunday, we are just a point behind Pat's with 15 games to go. That's the challenge for us on Sunday."
Kenny admitted that he had no comeback for the 4-0 loss to rivals Bohemians, and took the blame for the loss, but with a lot of unrest from the club's supporters, the match with St Patrick's Athletic on Sunday could prove make or break for the 40-year-old.
"I can't defend overall losing like that and I'm not going to try," Kenny said. "We made some bad mistakes and we were punished. But we have to move on. We can't dwell on it. The main thing for us is to get back to winning ways.
"We had two good wins, beating Drogheda 3-1 and Shelbourne 3-2, and we dominated against Cork when we drew 1-1 in our previous game, and we are in both cups. I think it was a bad night. We let everyone down. We let all our supporters down and everyone connected with the club down.
"As a manager I am responsible for that and I do know that. We let our supporters down and we do owe them a performance. Hopefully we can address that on Sunday against St Pat's."