Dundalk striker Patrick Hoban admitted he was “embarrassed” by the club’s start to the season and said it was “simply not good enough” that the Lilywhites had just one point from a possible nine on the board following Friday’s defeat to Shamrock Rovers in Tallaght Stadium.

In an interview for the club website, the 29-year-old called for his side to take a “long hard look” at themselves and to stop conceding “terrible goals” following serious question marks over Alessio Abibi’s display in the defeat to the Hoops.

After the club’s worst start to a season in 15 years and the worst start to a Premier Division campaign since 1998/99 when they also had a single point from their opening three matches, Hoban opened up on the frustration in the Dundalk dressing room at the manner in which they were conceding goals right now.

The articles as it appeared in The Argus on April 6th 2021

He said: “I missed a few chances with hitting the post and stuff like that but at the end of the day when you concede goals like that you’re going to make it a long, long season for ourselves.

“There were a lot of words said in there and we need to start taking a long hard look at ourselves now and make sure that next week that we win. It’s plain and simple, there is no two ways about it.

“I’m a small bit embarrassed to be honest with you, one point from nine, that’s not us so we need to make sure we get things going this week and make sure that we’re ready for Bohs.

“We need three points and we need to stop conceding terrible goals. The goals will come if we keep getting chances like that but we need to stop conceding sloppy goals. It’s frustrating.”

In what was a clear indication of how he and his team-mates rate their goalkeeper, Hoban said the side were giving themselves too much of a mountain to climb by conceding such poor goals.

“It’s frustrating because we had spoke before the game about them taking quick free kicks and stuff like that. It’s really frustrating to concede a goal like that because they played some nice football but they didn’t really hurt us so to concede two goals from 20-plus yards away is very frustrating.

“I thought we done quite well at times. We created chances. We’ve hit the crossbar, I’ve hit the post and the keeper has pulled off some good saves so it was a frustrating night but at the end of the day you’ve a mountain to climb when you’re 2-0 down against anyone in this league and we need to stop doing that to ourselves.”

Not even his second goal of the season late on lifted Hoban’s spirits.

“That goal doesn’t count,” he said.

“We’ve lost the game. We need to stop losing games and we need to stop conceding bad goals. If you do that against any team it’s a mountain to climb and it’s literally impossible to try and get back in the game.

“We didn’t start well today and you could see that. They kind of boxed us there for the first 10 minutes and it was highly frustrating. We got into it but if you’re going to switch off for free kicks and stuff like that then you’re going to get punished in this league. You’re going to get punished and we did and it was the same for the second goal as well. If we keep doing that it’ll be a long season so we need to take a long hard look at ourselves and make sure we correct all the problems for next week.”

Hoban said it was now imperative that Dundalk won at all costs at home to Bohemians on Friday night (kick-off 7.45pm, live on WATCHLOI) to kick-start their season.

“We need to get going now next week and not feel sorry for ourselves. We can’t afford to because before we know it we will be out of the title race.

“It’s so early in the season for me to say that and I never thought I would have to say that but I’m actually embarrassed that we have only one point from three games, completely embarrassed, and it needs to change for next week.

“I’m not used to losing games of football for Dundalk FC and that’s why I’m highly embarrassed so we need to make sure that we train well next week and make sure we go into Bohs next week and get three points, plain and simple. We need to start winning games of football because at this moment in time, it’s simply not good enough,” said Hoban.