'The expectation levels are too high' - Croly defends Shamrock Rovers record

The former Hoops boss blasted the club's supporters for their negativity towards players and believes that he did a good job during his time at Tallaght
Trevor Croly has moved to quash suggestions that he did not perform well as manager during his time in charge of Shamrock Rovers.

Croly was recently relieved of his position as Hoops boss following a heavy 4-1 defeat against Limerick, a result which dealt a blow to the club's hopes of challenging for the SSE Airtricity Premier Division title this season.

However, while league honours proved to be beyond the team's grasp during the 40-year-old's tenure since taking over the reins from Stephen Kenny in November 2012, the Dubliner dismissed the idea that he did a poor job at Tallaght.

Emphasising his successful Setanta Sports Cup and EA Sports Cup campaigns of 2013, as well as the off-field strides made by the club, Croly defended his record.

"It's a myth that I didn't do a good job," Croly was quoted as saying by the Irish Independent.

"In case people forget, we won two trophies in my first season and got to the semi-finals of the FAI Cup. My replacement will take over a club who are in the semi-finals of the EA Sports Cup, who are fourth in the table, who are still the FAI Cup. And it is not as if I have left Shamrock Rovers in liquidation.

"Structurally wise, this club is arguably better set up than any Irish club has ever been. There is now a pathway in place for players to progress from the underage set-up to the first team.

"Since I arrived, the club's board has been prudent and smart with its money. We worked closely together to put structures in place and it hasn't just been a first team we've been building, it has been a club."

Croly also criticised the behaviour of Shamrock Rovers supporters, suggesting that expectation levels were too high and argued that the "negativity" from fans affected his players' performances.

"This year we are fourth – with the fourth-highest budget. Yes, the club has a fantastic history behind it but that does not mean you are entitled to win the league year after year," said Croly.

"At times the expectation levels are too high. And at times the abuse players received was too much.

"One of the big disappointments was supporters' negativity towards our players because that inhibited our ability to transfer the work done on the training ground to match day.

"Would actors, having rehearsed in theatre all week, put on a show if the audience was abusing them? It's unlikely – just as it was hard for the players to cope with the strain. As a manager, you can manage many things – players, the board – but you will struggle to manage that."

Nevertheless, despite his departure from the club, the former St Patrick's Athletic assistant manager admitted that he would always have a "soft spot" for the Hoops.

"When you manage this club, a part of you stays with them. I will always have a soft spot for Shamrock Rovers," Croly declared.