Dundalk part company with head coach Stephen O’Donnell after poor run of results

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Stephen O’Donnell has left his role as head coach of Dundalk

Dundalk’s owner has admitted that results forced the club’s hand and led to today’s decision to axe Stephen O’Donnell as manager.

Former Dundalk player O’Donnell cut a dejected figure after Friday’s heavy loss away to Derry City and the club moved to change things, with O’Donnell dismissed after a series of meetings today, as his assistant Patrick Cregg also departs.

Coach Liam Burns and head of football operations Brian Gartland will take in interim charge as a long-term replacement is sought, a busy period on the way for the side as Dundalk are at home to St Patrick’s Athletic on Friday and then face Bohemians away next Monday.

The side are bottom of the table with three points from eight games,

“This has been a very difficult decision to make,” said Dundalk FC owner Brian Ainscough.

“Stephen is, and always will be, a legendary figure at Dundalk FC and is a very talented young coach but football is a results business and, regrettably, our disappointing start to the season has led to this conclusion.

“Stephen and Patrick have worked tirelessly to improve the club over the past two-and-a-half years and I would like to thank both of them for their commitment, dedication and enthusiasm I wish both of them the very best of luck in their future endeavours and they will always be welcome at Oriel Park.”

O’Donnell, who left St Patrick’s Athletic in controversial circumstances back in 2021 to take the Dundalk job, said it was a “sad day”.

He said: “We always wanted what was the best for Dundalk FC and we worked tirelessly to try and do that. I’m proud of our achievements over the past two years, qualifying for Europe and going close again last season.

“The way I left it with Brian was very amicable and I think the club is in really good hands going forward.

“I have no doubt that the players and staff will get the club out of the position they’re in.”

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