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"I think it's the wrong decision" | Stuey Byrne on Stephen O'Donnell

Stuey Byrne believes that Stephen O'Donnell made an emotional decision, not a good decision.



Former Shelbourne midfielder Stuey Byrne joined The Football Show to react to Stephen O'Donnell's move to Dundalk.

Stephen O'Donnell has been the talk of the League of Ireland for some time now.

After winning the FAI Cup to win Brian Kerr's heart, he broke all St. Patricks Athletic fans hearts by departing for Dundalk. Kerr delivered a condemning speech about the move on Sunday and Stuey Byrne followed up with some similar, but less passionate thoughts on Tuesday night.

Byrne doesn't necessarily think that what O'Donnell did was disloyal but there are other factors to consider.

"I think it's the wrong decision," Byrne said.

"It's pure emotion. I've a lot of time for Stephen, I've a lot of time for Brian as well. Brian is obviously a big Pats fan. And I agree with Brian. I do think loyalty is very important in the game. Probably more important as a manager rather than as a player. And that's why I'm focusing on this from a management point of view."

Byrne referenced a Roy Keane quote in relation to O'Donnell.

"Players come and go. Roy Keane famously said you're just a piece of meat and you are. You're expendable. As a manager, it's important for your career that you're seen to be stable, consistent, dependable. You can say loyal, but loyalty in football I'm not too sure to be honest with you."

Dundalk are in a good position after being taken over. But they're not in a good position in terms of on-field outlook. O'Donnell is leaving a cup-winning side to join a team that is rebuilding. And it could be a big job for a manager who is so inexperienced despite early signs of promise.

Byrne thinks that O'Donnell is being led by his emotions.

"I was quite surprised when I heard it. I wasn't overly shocked. And because of Dundalk, I think he's very emotionally attached to Dundalk. Because the best years of his career were there. But the best years of his career were there as a player. He's a manager now. And he's going back to a club that's in a bit of rag order.

"They've got a lot of stuff to do. They've got to get themselves back on the horse again. It's very difficult to turn a football club around after going through a difficult period the way they have. Despite the fact they were so successful for such a long period.

"From the outside looking at it, if I had the ability to advise Stephen I'd have told him to stick at it for another year."

O'Donnell will have plenty of people to prove wrong.

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Dundalk League Of Ireland St Patrick's Athletic Stephen O'Donnell Stuey Byrne