For the second time in four days, St Patrick's Athletic came up against a team with more training under its belt. Unlike in the draw against Dundalk, it was very much evident in the 2-0 defeat to Derry City.
A draw against the reigning champions at Oriel Park was a huge boost upon the League of Ireland resumption, but they fell well short of that at Inchicore as goals from James Akintunde and Conor McCormack continued manager Stephen O'Donnell’s patchy home record since taking over.
Speaking to RTÉ Sport’s Tony O’Donoghue, the former Dundalk star admitted that fatigue may have played its part in the below-par showing.
"In hindsight, maybe," he responded when asked if two games in quick succession took its toll.
"There were a lot of mental errors. We can’t throw it out there (as an excuse), but maybe it was.
"It was the worry after putting in such an effort Friday night. You flatten out over the weekend and go again Monday night, but that’s just the way it is.
"It’s disappointing that it was a little flat."
There is little chance to lick the wounds either with Finn Harps up next on Friday. A clash against the league’s bottom side should provide a decent opportunity to add to their current tally of seven points.
With Dundalk and Derry two of the four domestic teams that were permitted to return to training early due to European commitments, it was always going to be a challenging start.
We have to have more quality and be harder to beat, even if you are flat
The manager however, who handed loan signing Georgie Kelly his debut before he was withdrawn with cramp, won’t allow an excuse culture permeate at the club.
"I expect more from the boys. Like I said to them after the game, we have to have more quality and be harder to beat, even if you are flat."