‘It’s absolutely soul-destroying’
Derek Foran, John Sullivan, Jamie Aherne, Ger Pender.
Finn Harps: 1. Ciaran Gallagher; 22. Ethan Boyle, 4. Kilian Cantwell, 5. Packie Mailey, 3. Ciaran Coll; 19. Barry Molloy; 11. Caolan McAleer, 20. Paddy McCourt, 20. Sean Houston, 7. Mark Timlin; 99. Eddie Dsane. Subs: Johnny Bonner for Timlin (73); Gareth Harkin for Molloy (79); Ibrahim Keita for Dsane (83). Not used: Tommy McBride, Tommy Lee McCarron, Damien McNulty, Pascal Millien.
Referee: Anthony Buttimer. HARRY Kenny is a gentleman and a scholar and also an extremely good football manager. But he is also a man on the verge of heartbreak as he struggles to hold it all together.
The Bray Wanderers boss felt his distracted side got what they deserved from their tussle with Finn Harps on Friday but the upset experienced at that loss is nothing compared to the feeling of watching the season slip away.
“No disrespect to Harps but we’d be expecting to beat Harps in the Carlisle. We’ve beaten them twice already this season but our first half performance wasn’t good enough. Second half, we rallied a little bit – bit unlucky with the sending off – but still did reasonably well with 10 men and the lads showed good character in the second half. I’m not so sure whether it deserved an actual result from the game but very pleased with the second half.
“I could use a few choice words but I won’t. It’s absolutely gut-wrenching and soul-destroying. It really is. You’re right, we put together a fabulous squad here, I can’t do anything about what’s going on in the last three weeks with statement and money’s here, money’s not here. It’s very difficult to manage and it’s very difficult to get the lads focussed on the football. So be it. We’ll try to move on and prepare for the Bohs game.”
Going through turmoil or not, Kenny expects to have his full squad at his disposal for their trip to Dalymount Park. They’ll be there in body but getting them there in spirit is the challenge.
“Fellas did want to leave and I told them they were under contract and they’re being paid and nobody has missed out on any sort of payment so I’ve asked them to stay and they’re staying. We just need to regroup and get ourselves right for the Bohs game. The (transfer) deadline will have moved on and the guarantee is there so nothing has changed.
“I don’t expect anyone to leave. If they were going to leave, they probably would have left by now. They’re under contract and have been paid up to date. They’ll be here to prepare for Bohs.
“It’s a whore trying to motivate them at this moment and keep the focus. There’s just way too many distractions going on. It makes my job tougher and harder and it makes the players’ jobs harder. But we’re all professionals and we all love our football and we’ll just try and keep the focus.”
But before Kenny can begin to plot Bohemians’ downfall, he has to plot his own future first. The 55-year old has, and continues to, question his own future at the club but he does have reason to stay put.
“I’ve considered it (my future) the last four weeks to be honest with ya. I’ve a lot of soul searching and thinking to do over the next couple of days.
“My love of football (has kept me here). The Bray people have given me a chance in management. I’ve put a good group of players together and I’m trying to be loyal to them. We’ve had a fantastic start to the season – it’s unheard of for Bray to be challenging around Europe. “
Ryan Brennan’s body language after a missed chance is probably close to how all Bray Wanderers supporters feel at the moment.
Ryan Brennan fires home Bray’s second goal past Paddy McCourt.
Bray Wanderers manager Harry Kenny (right) leaves the field after the defeat to Finn Harps last Friday evening in the Carlisle Grounds. Photos: Barbara Flynn.s