A DEFIANT Kenny Shiels claims he's fought 'bigger battles' than the one he's currently facing at struggling Derry City after ending the club's 2018 home campaign with a fifth straight league defeat at Brandywell Stadium.
The 3-0 loss to league runners-up and FAI Cup finalists, Cork City was the 18th league defeat in 34 games and Shiels concedes he can 'respect' the frustrations of the supporters.
After a five game winning run which coincided with the long awaited return to the revamped Brandywell, Derry have won just THREE home games since, against relegated Bray, second from bottom, Limerick and St Pat's!
Shiels agrees results at home haven't been good enough this year but he's been encouraged by the performances and is 'proud' of what the team has achieved this year with the EA Sports Cup back at Brandywell.
"We're disappointed with the home results," he said. "There's been contribution to that. It's not just the team's fault. You have to look at the other side of it. Since the month of June we've only lost away to the big two on their own patch which is four months.
"On the road we've been fine but we'll try get ourselves ready for Monday night because the input from the players tonight was very good."
When asked if he understood the frustrations from the supporters and why sections are calling for a change of management, Shiels responded: "No, they're not calling for a change they're just frustrated the same as me. I've had bigger battles than this believe me and I've came through them. I respect the frustration of the supporters.
"There's no other way I can put that. I respect the frustrations. They should come and see me if they want me to explain things to them but that's what I'm doing to you guys.
"I'm proud of what I've achieved this season and I want to finish the season again and hopefully get a result on Monday and Friday. If you have any idea about the game you can see we're not getting the break of the ball. So I'm not panicking because I know we've got the players there to build for next season again."
Former Brandywell favourite, Barry McNamee returned to Foyleside to rub salt in the wounds with a superbly taken opening goal after 14 minutes. Skipper, Gerard Doherty's mistake led to the second Cork goal while the third was a fortuitous cross from substitute, Shane Daly-Butz in the 87th minute - a real kick in the 'butz' for Shiels who felt his side didn't deserve to lose by such a big margin.
"It's difficult to take. Tonight's result in any shape or form didn't reflect the performance. It did not in any way unless I'm blind or can't see properly. I thought it was a very good performance.
If you break down the three goals one was a break from the counter attack when we've got good attacking options. The second one Gerard out of character dropped one in and the third one was a cross.
"So somebody tell me outside of that what other chances had they? We had five really good chances in the first half and we huffed and puffed in the second half but they were holding on to what they had."