Finn Harps manager Ollie Horgan says Mark Coyle’s early sending off completely changed Friday night’s game in Waterford.
Harps fell to a heavy 4-0 defeat – their sixth successive loss – after Coyle was dismissed in the 26th minute. Coyle picked up a second yellow card and Horgan believes that was the turning point in the game.
“Up until that, we probably shaded the game,” Horgan said.
“Waterford were frustrated, the crowd were frustrated and I thought: ‘Yeah, this is a chance for us to get points on the road’.
“The sending off after 25-odd minutes changed the complexion of the game fully. I’m not saying we’d have got anything but certainly it would have been a lot tighter.
“Whatever chance we had with 11, we’re not strong enough with 10, especially on the road.
“They gained almost total possession. When Waterford are good, they’re very good.
“When the first goal went in, it was always going to be a long struggle. They ran out very comfortable winners in the end.”
Bottom-of-the-table Harps were saved somewhat with UCD losing 3-1 at Shamrock Rovers with the Hoops netting a brace late on when the Students looked as if they might take something from the game.
Harps return to action on Monday night when they host Sligo Rovers in the EA Sports Cup.
Horgan will make considerable changes to his line-up. He said: “It’s no harm to have a game to try and get over a heavy defeat.
“The pressure is off a little bit. We’ll have a look at a few different options with lads who have been very good at training. It might be the breath of fresh air that we need.”