In the wake of Stephen O'Donnell's departure from Dundalk, head coach Vinny Perth, while wishing him well, was keen to point out the importance of the collective at the Louth club.  

Last week, O'Donnell, who spent seven years at Dundalk as a player and latterly as a member of the coaching team was unveiled as the new manager of St Pat's Athletic

Speaking to RTÉ Sport's Adrian Eames after the Premier Division win over Sligo Rovers on Monday evening, Vinny Perth spoke about the changing times of late.

He said: "We have lost big people in this club over the years, people like Richie Towell, Daryl Horgan and Andy Boyle, all at the peak of their careers.

"We lost Stephen Kenny last year. As a group, we just go on. We'd rather that Stephen (O'Donnell) was still here. Look, that's the way it goes.

"Internally, we have always said that the group is more important than one individual and that's the way it's going to be between now and the end of the season."

Perth went to talk about his respect for O'Donnell and the fact that in the future they'll be out to get one-up on each other.

Stephen O'Donnell is now at the helm in Inchicore

"The Pat's job is a great opportunity for Stephen after a year in which he helped me immensely at Dundalk," he added.

"The two of us came to this club about seven-and-a-half years ago, probably at a crossroads in our careers . He was released from Shamrock Rovers, so Dundalk was brilliant for him. He became a real legend of the club and I really want to thank him for all his work.

"We shook hands and we wished each other well but now my job is to beat him, beat him as best I can and his job is to beat me. 

"There is a huge respect between us. It's great to see young coaches coming through.

"It's a brave decision by Pat's and me being a Pat's supporter, well I hope it works out to a point."

As to matters on the pitch, Perth was delighted with the win at The Showgrounds - an outcome that moves them seven points clear of Shamrock Rovers with a game in hand.

"I thought we were really strong, our attacking play was outstanding and we were probably disappointed that we didn't score more. We hit the crossbar three times and their keeper made some great saves. 

"I just have to thank the players for the level of professionalism they have shown and they effort they have put in what has been a very busy period. We still have a bit of work to do though.

"When the games come thick and fast you don't have time to think about games in hand and so on. It is the old, boring answer, but it is one game at a  time.

"There is still that rivalry between ourselves and Cork, who we play next. We will be ready for the game." 

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