Derry City manager Kenny Shiels expressed his anger with the League of Ireland fixture schedulers following his side's 5-0 loss to Cork City on Monday night at Turner's Cross.
Last Thursday, Shiels side battle to a superb 2-1 win in Belarus against Dinamo Minsk in the Europa League first qualifying round. Ultimately, the victory was not enough as Derry exited the competition 3-2 on aggregate.
Shiels was irate that last night's game against the League of Ireland champions was pencilled in so close to the European fixtures. Cork were also in European action last week. They lost out to Polish champions Legia Warsaw in the Champions League qualifiers.
"I think you have to look a bit deeper into it," Shiels told RTÉ after the game.
It was cruelty to my players. We've played on Thursday, we've travelled all the way home and then all the way to Cork.
We haven't had one training session and they've had five days preparation for this. It's bang out of order.
Shiels made some valid points which will surely have to be taken into consideration in future fixture lists.
"The longest journey in the league is Cork to Derry or Derry to Cork and they have this fixture the same week as the two teams are playing in Europe. They played Tuesday, we played Thursday.
"We're just back from the trip - I'm not even back from the trip yet!
"It's a disgrace what they've done, making us play this game here and the Monday after us travelling all the way down [to Belarus] and then we've to travel six-and-a-half hours down to Cork after it all.
"The boys are not fit, they're on their knees. It was pure fitness that won the match. It's cruelty, absolute cruelty."
You can listen to Shiels speaking on the Morning Ireland sports bulletin below.
7.30 Morning Ireland sports bulletin - An irate Kenny Shiels lashes out at fixture schedulers and speculation on next Waterford manager pic.twitter.com/7lVWl68mdL
— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) July 24, 2018
Picture credit: Sportsfile