Rotherham United manager Matt Taylor has delivered a critical assessment of the League of Ireland’s quality.
Taylor was applauding his Irish striker Georgie Kelly, who scored the game-winning goal for Rotherham in their 2-1 win against Huddersfield Town last Saturday, when he made the remarks.
Kelly joined Bohemians in 2021 and helped them gain promotion from League One.
Taylor attacked the League of Ireland in an effort to promote his player.
The Rotherham boss stated that the League of Ireland is the equivalent of non-league football in the English pyramid, and that Kelly is still ‘learning his craft’ in the Championship.
Taylor urged ‘people to patient’ with the centre forward. Yet, in the next sentence, he said that Kelly has become a ‘cult hero’ with fans of the club.
“I’ve been here for two minutes. He is still incredibly raw,” Taylor told The Yorkshire Post about the 25-year-old.
“He’s come from Ireland which, with no disrespect to Irish football, is the equivalent of non-league level in the English pyramid.
“Suddenly, he’s learning his trade in the Championship. That’s so difficult for him to do. I want people to be patient with him.
“There’ll be times where people judge him the other way and he won’t always get the plaudits,” Taylor continued.
“In terms of an attitude and a physicality, we’ve got something to work with. He already feels like that cult hero.”
Kelly has three goals in 12 outings for Rotherham after joining the club from Bohemians in January. In the League of Ireland, he previously played for Derry City, UCD, Dundalk, and St Patrick’s Athletic.
Kelly was voted PFAI player of the year for 2021 after scoring 26 goals in 40 games for Bohs and helped the Dublin team reach the FAI Cup final.
Rotherham are presently 16th in the Championship, with 18 points from 13 games. Taylor was appointed manager of the team at the beginning of October, having previously coached Exeter City.