COBH Ramblers manager Darren Murphy has apologised to the club’s supporters following their 5-2 defeat away to Athlone Town on Friday night.
Goals in each half from Jack Larkin and substitute Jake Hegarty weren’t enough to prevent Athlone from claiming their first victory of the campaign at the 17th attempt and stop Cobh’s winless run from extending to seven.
And speaking toon the bus home, Murphy criticised his side’s display, particularly the manner in which they conceded those five goals to the first division’s bottom club.
“Yeah, look… I think we were shocking, to be honest,” he insisted. "We were awful. Again, on behalf of all the team, I would like to apologise to anyone who watched the game and watched that performance. I know all the players are feeling that way as well.
“I think you could put it down to a lot of different things. The game was very open between both Athlone and us.
“It was two teams down at the bottom of the league playing against each other and it looked like it as well.
“We had to make a few changes to our team again, we picked up a couple of injuries and so forth. But there are no excuses for this really.
“You are still a League of Ireland player at the end of the day and you have to put in a performance for your club. We just didn’t do that.
“I could put it down to a million things but there were mistakes all over the park that cost us goals, soft goals.
“I thought Athlone were very good in the counter-attack, they were quick, they had pace, and we didn’t punish them early enough when we got chances.
“We had a good hold of the game in the first half, we played really well I thought and we were probably the better side. We controlled the game more but we didn’t punish them.
Next up for Ramblers, they welcome Wexford to St Colman’s Park on Friday night (7.45pm) and Murphy has called on his squad to show some character.
“The Wexford game now is a really important game for every player at the club because it is coming up to the transfer window there now and anyone that is going out representing this club next week has to show what they are made of.
“That is how they should react. They have shown character at times throughout the season and they need to show it again next week."