Defender banned for five matches by FAI


BOHEMIANS DEFENDER Jason McGuinness has been suspended for five games as a result his racial abuse towards Romauld Boco during the recent league match against Sligo Rovers.

The club had previously banned the player for a week and fined him and this, along with the apologies he offered both to Boco and Rovers officials on the night in question, appears to have been taken into account by the FAI’s disciplinary committee which handed down the most lenient punishment allowed under the rules.

The ban still means McGuinness will be sidelined for around a month of Bohemians’ title defence and Pat Fenlon will have to cope without the player for a number of high-profile games including trips to Cork City and St Patrick’s Athletic as well as the visit of Sligo Rovers.

Meanwhile, Damien Lynch has denied reports there is unrest in the St Patrick’s Athletic dressingroom and insisted the club’s players are unanimous in their support of manager Jeff Kenna.

“From a player’s point of view, speaking on the players’ behalf, there’s absolutely nothing wrong in the dressingroom,” said the former Drogheda United defender.

“All the players back the manager 100 per cent. Training is fantastic, the assistant manager (Paul Peschisolido) and the manager are doing a fantastic job and if anything we’re probably letting them down, not the other way around. From our point of view, we need to get it right on the pitch for the manager, he’s come over here and he’s doing a good job and we need to back him up in that.”

The Dubliner accepts the team’s form has been terribly disappointing in recent weeks with just one win in seven games since a 2-0 defeat of Dundalk at the end of March but, he insists, people need to have patience.

“The personnel have changed, massively,” he says. “I was in my house the other day and there was a picture from Berlin last year and of the 26 or 27 people, players and other staff, in the photograph there’s only nine left. That’s a massive difference.

“You can’t expect to go and win leagues with maybe 12 new players. It takes time to build again. It took Johnny McDonnell maybe four years to build that squad and a lot of money. So I think that we’re starting to build again.

“The manager, to be fair, has been very positive and we need to be too. We were hoping to be contending and who is to say that we won’t be, you never know but first of all we need to focus on winning football matches, we haven’t done enough of that this year.

“So starting on Saturday, we need to go and win a game. We can’t look at any particular competition and say, ‘Well, we might win that’. We need to go and start winning football matches and then see where that gets us.”

The team’s most recent setback was a 1-0 home defeat in Monday’s League Cup against Shamrock Rovers and Michael O’Neill’s side has been rewarded for that win with a quarter-final trip to Waterford.

Having dumped out last year’s winners Derry City this week, Galway United will host UCD in the next round while another of the first division’s leading sides, Sporting Fingal, will get to test themselves against Sligo Rovers.

After taking two big scalps on the road, meanwhile, last season’s beaten finalist Wexford Youths have landed a major club at home with Bohemians facing a trip to Ferrycarrig Park.

Mick Wallace’s side has already eliminated Limerick and Cork City, both on penalties away from home.

EA Sports (League) Cup Quarter-final draw:Sporting Fingal v Sligo Rovers, Galway Utd v UCD, Waterford Utd v Shamrock Rvrs, Wexford Yths v Bohemians. Games to be played May 18th/19th.