John McDonnell spoke exclusively to stpatsfc.com as he gave his verdict on a variety of issues, starting with Sunday's defeat against Cork City:
“I was disappointed to lose, especially at home, but to say Cork are a good side is a huge understatement. Despite all their good play though, it was once again our error which led to their first goal. It was especially frustrating once again to lose a goal just before half-time, which gives us an uphill task in the second half. We have conceded goals just before half-time twice to Shels and also to Cork and it does make things difficult for us.
“Losing Alan Reilly was a blow, especially on his debut and he is very disappointed. I felt that the decision was very harsh, as I didn't feel he made contact with the player and Alan will be looking to get back on track as soon as possible. He acquitted himself well and made a good start to the match and it is a shame that things turned out the way they did for him on the day. Sean O'Connor has settled in well; it's a big step up for him but he's getting there and will be a useful signing for us.”
One clear positive to take from Sunday's game was the performance of goalkeeper Barry Ryan, who did well throughout, as well as making a brilliant penalty save. Clearly, he is relishing his new role as captain.
“In the absence of Colm Foley, Barry Ryan has taken over as team captain,” explained McDonnell. “Barry is a great leader, as he showed on Sunday. However, the loss of both Colm Foley and Stephen Quigley, who suffered concussion in training, proved to be significant for us.”