Kenny Shiels: The League of Ireland needs to get their act together over pitch quality

The Derry City manager spoke after Derry's scoreless draw in Galway on Monday night

BY Daniel Kelly 13:02 Tuesday 9 May 2017, 13:02 9 May 2017

Derry City manager Kenny Shiels Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Presseye/Lorcan Doherty

Derry City manager Kenny Shiels has launched a scathing attack on the state of pitches in the League of Ireland.

Shiels was speaking to Drive 105 and Galway Bay FM after Derry's draw away to Galway United on Monday night. The Derry boss said the pitch at Eamonn Deacy Park was a "disgrace".

"What is important and what we have to understand is football is an entertainment game. We resorted to playing like them, when we started to kick it long in the second half. The pitch was too bumpy. We couldn't play."

"It's a deterrent from playing football, the way the pitch was. It just equalised everything in a game where they had their first shot on 75 minutes... The pitch was horrible."

Speaking under the new stand in Eamonn Deacy Park, which was opened in 2007, Shiels was visibly annoyed at why the pitch could not match the standards of the rest of the ground.

Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

"What we have here is a beautiful building, beautiful complex, great infrastructure, lovely dressing rooms and lovely stands. It's absolutely brilliant, but the League of Ireland needs to get their act together. The most important thing is not the beautiful stand. I'd rather play on a parks pitch as long as it was good."

"It was the same two weeks ago when we came here [for the EA Sports Cup tie]. It was the same when we went to Sligo. The pitch wasn't watered. It wasn't treated properly for the product of football. We cannot produce quality on a pitch like that. It just equalises everything."

"I dont know if it's by accident or design. It certainly looked like it was designed to stop us playing."

Ben Doherty and Aaron McEneff were both taken off during the game. Shiels said it was down to the quality of the surface in the Galway venue.

"If you're having to take extra touches to control the ball, it equalises everything. The other team, especially a big physical team like that can get in and batter you around... I had to take footballers of the pitch, because of the pitch."

"They dont care about the football pitch. Why do they not care about the football pitch? Somebody tell me. I'm so angry about the condition of the pitch. We want to play and we want to entertain. The Galway supporters were deprived of better football. It stopped us from winning the game."

You can listen to the interview in full on this week's SSE Airtricity League Podcast.

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