Fahey was the man of the match for the league leaders in their 3-2 defeat of Cork City, the midfielder scoring twice and setting up another as Pats extended their lead at the top of the eircom Premier Division to six points.
Said McDonnell: “Is someone playing for Rotherham’s first team or reserves better than Keith Fahey or Mark Quigley? And I’m not just picking out our players — there’s players at other clubs as well. I think he (Trapattoni) should have a look at them, look at their character, look at them in day-to-day training and see what they’re like. He’s an experienced guy and he’d be able to say whether a guy is up to the grade or not.
“I definitely think Keith is one that he could take a chance on. He’s maturing every year, his defensive game is better, and every time the level lifts he lifts as well. So if he was in an even better pool of players, like the international team, maybe it would lift him up. I certainly don’t think it would faze him. Joe Gamble has done it. Jason Byrne has done it. So it’s not just people on our team. A big panel of 40 would have given the manager a chance to look at people and decide if they’re good enough or not good enough. Or he might be able to say, ;yeah, at least I can call on him further down the road’.”
After Sunday’s win, McDonnell’s main priority is to ensure Pats maintain consistency, unlike last season when they suffered a major mid-season dip in form. By contrast, the job of Cork boss Alan Mathews is to make inroads into the 11 point gap which now separates his side from the leaders.
“It’s a long way off, but this is May and the season doesn’t finish until November,” he says. “We’ve got to be positive and push on and try to claw it back. I felt we deserved something from the game against Pats. To go there and dominate possession for as much as we did without getting something from it, is disappointing. We’re 11 points off, but we’re not looking any further now than concentrating on the next game.”
For the second league game in succession, Cork suffered a sending-off. But while Mathews appeared to have no complaints about Joe Gamble’s dismissal against Drogheda, this time he feels there is a strong case to have Danny Murphy’s red against Pats overturned.
“I don’t think it was a sending off,” he says. “I think he tried to get out of the way, but the young lad (Noel Haverty) ran into him. I don’t think Danny Murphy in any shape or form tried to obstruct the lad. His first yellow was debatable, but I think the second one should be rescinded.”