Football

Derry City Boss Walks Out On BBC Interview After Intense Exchange

Derry City Boss Walks Out On BBC Interview After Intense Exchange

Derry City manager Kenny Shiels has come under pressure following a run which has seen the club lose seven of their last eight league games.

The club sit seventh in Premier Division table with one match remaining. The season did have the highlight of Derry winning their first piece of silverware under Shiels - the EA Sports Cup last month.

For some, that triumph will not be enough for Shiels to retain his job. He has been in charge at the Brandywell for nearly three years.

Derry's latest blow - a 2-1 defeat to basement club Bray - came on Monday night.

Following the game, Shiels had an intense exchange with BBC Radio Foyle reporter Dessie McCallion. It concluded with Shiels walking out on the interview.

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Dessie McCallion: Do you think some of the reaction that's come on the back of Friday night's defeat has been harsh?

Kenny Shiels: I think the media has exaggerated that. If you make a boo noise and there's ten of you doing that, it can cause a good volume. Certainly it wasn't as bad as the question [make it out to be]. They're fine, the supporters are behind me; most of them, the football people are behind me.

I don't mind people saying bad things about me because everybody's entitled to an opinion and a viewpoint. I know what my legacy was and I know what I've achieved getting into Europe my first two seasons, winning the League Cup this season. Having a mediocre league outcome, you just can't keep pulling rabbits out of the hat.

DM: You mentioned having a mediocre league campaign. 63 goals conceded - that's the most goals any Derry team has ever conceded. They've lost their last five home games. You're sitting seventh in a league of ten teams. Do you not see why there is some frustration coming?

KS: Of course. Yeah. Any other figures? Have you any other figures? We've almost scored 80 goals this season. I don't know if you've noticed the trying conditions we're working under. I'm not one for giving you excuses, I'm one for giving you established reasons. If you can't see it and your fellow reporters can't see it, then there's an impasse there.

DM: Kenny, 20 league games, the last 20 league games...

KS: Where am I selecting my players from? Tell me where I'm getting my players from.

DM: You're bringing them in from Scotland and across channel.

KS: Why can I not get Derry players? Tell me where I would get a Derry player. You just tell me. Go on, tell me. Where can I get a Derry player?

DM: Most of them seem to be playing with other clubs in the League of Ireland and with Coleraine.

KS: Exactly. Thank you. So, how can I get them? It's impossible. They're signed up for Irish league teams. There's a dozen, at least, that are signed up for Irish league teams and I can't get them, right.

Why are there four Derry players at Dundalk? Can you answer that? No you can't. So, there you are, that answers your question. Why are there four Derry players in Dundalk and there's not one Dundalk player in the Dundalk squad? Tell me why.

DM: Because they've looked and seen the best players and they've targetted them and brought them to the club.

KS: Have you not got an idea as to why they're not here? Have you any idea? Do they not like to play for their home club?

DM: I'm sure they would play for their home club.

KS: Why am I not going and getting them? That's bad management by me. That's what you're implying. That's bad management from me. I'm not going to get the Derry players.

DM: I'm asking reasons.

KS: Those are reasons. You know the reasons. Go on, say the reasons, say them.

DM: What, is it about the money? Is it the packages?

KS: Well done, Einstein. That's brilliant. You've worked that out, well done.

DM: Kenny, you brought on seven players at the start of the season that hardly kicked a ball for the team. The money that was used for that...

KS: No, I didn't bring in seven players, by the way. Three left due to extenuating circumstances. We had different issues with them and there were problems there. I'm not going to talk about that.

We had a period here when the house was full. We won nine games out of ten and there were being none of these questions asked.

DM: Kenny, in the last 20 league games - OK, you've won the League Cup, you get a run to the quarter-finals of the FAI Cup - but the league's bread and butter... Are you finished?

Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

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PJ Browne
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