Stuart Byrne envisaging "unique" and "strange" League of Ireland season

Outside the Top 3, the pressure on managers is more intense than ever

League of Ireland, SSE Airtricity League, Dundalk, Cork City, preview, Drogheda United

Pictured: (L-R) Drogheda United’s Richie Purdy, Finn Harps’ Johnny Barrett, Galway United’s Colm Horgan, Derry City’s Aaron McEneff, Shamrock Rovers’ Ronan Finn, Dundalk’s Stephen O’Donnell, Cork City’s Steven Beattie, Limerick’s Dave O’Connor, Bohemians’ Dinny Corcoran, St. Patrick’s Athletic Athletics’ Ian Bermingham, Sligo Rovers Craig Roddan and Bray Wanderer’s Conor Kenna ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

Former Shelbourne midfielder Stuart Byrne believes we are in store for a "unique" and "strange" season at one end of the League of Ireland Premier Division table.

With three of the 12 teams going down automatically before the league reverts to 10 teams next season, the battle will be more frantic than ever to survive in the Premier Division.

As a result, managers are under even more pressure and Sligo Rovers and Limerick have already made changes by parting ways with Dave Robertson and Martin Russell respectively.

And speaking to Off The Ball, Stuey believes more cases of managers parting ways with clubs will occur for every team outside the Top 3 or 4. 

"I would say all of them are under pressure," he said.

"I've said this before, I think outside of the Top Four - and I consider the Top Four to be Cork, Dundalk, Derry and [Shamrock] Rovers - outside of them I think this season is going to be a a very unique season. It's going to be strange and you're going to see things like this go on all year.

"I think anyone outside of those Top Four is in trouble. But I'd have to change that now, because Shamrock Rovers, given the start of the season they've had, they've lost five out of eight games.

"And the reality is three go down and anyone outside of the Top Three now could go down."