ST PATRICK'S ATHLETIC
Scratching the wounds from Tuesday’s 3-0 derby day defeat to Shamrock Rovers, the Saints are going again with the visit of double champions Cork City to Richmond Park (kick off 7.45).
Liam Buckley’s side have been free-flowing coming into tonight’s fixture recording four wins in their last five, which has left the side without a home defeat since the opening day of the season.
Taking in his side’s run of form and Tuesday’s loss, Buckley was expecting an even greater challenge this evening for his maturing side.
“Tuesday was a very disappointing night for us as we never got going at all and then gave away a few goals that we would not be happy with at all.
“We now have a really quick turnaround to this game on Friday against Cork and we can again expect a similar challenge, if not even tougher."
Drawing optimism from narrow 3-2 losses and 1-0 to City this season, Buckley was confident and in the knowledge of what his side needed going into tonight’s clash.
"We've had two tight games against Cork this season where we've been edged out by a goal on two occasions so we've competed well with them, but just lacked that killer instinct or made a small error at a crucial time.
“We have had a great home record in Inchicore since the opening game of the season against Cork so we'll be hoping to maintain our current run at home and pick up some points."
The Saints will be planning for a return of Owen Garvan, Killian Brennan and Dean Clarke, while goalkeeper Barry Murphy will also be in contention to return to the starting XI.
Having overcome Limerick on Monday, the Rebel Army go searching for their third win on the bounce when they visit Inchacore this evening.
With last week’s 4-0 thumping of Bray followed by Monday’s 2-0 snatch and grab win at the Market Field’s, John Caulfield’s side have found a free scoring form as the head to the capital.
Now with the added challenge of St. Patrick’s Athletic, the in-form team with four wins in their last five, Caulfield was conservative in his preparations commenting on Pat’s electric home form of late,
“They are very good at home. They score lots of goals; they scored five against Derry last week and a couple against Sligo the week before.
“They obviously play attacking football; they get the full backs in around the back and they create a lot of chances. Liam has brought in a lot of younger players and they play with a lot of energy.”
Heading north this evening, Caulfield was keen to ignore prior history, with the primary focus on just the three points this evening,
“Pat’s have been on a good run recently and they are in contention for Europe. You have to make sure you are ready for every game and that you are ready from the off.
“We gave two very good performances over last weekend, scoring six goals and keeping two clean sheets.
“That means nothing, though, if we are not ready tomorrow, because it is another three points on offer.”
Conor McCormack, Alan Bennett, Gearóid Morrisey and Steven Beattie will be assessed ahead of the game, while Johnny Dunleavy is still not back in contention.
Cork City have grabbed all the three points this season following 3-2 and 1-0 wins over the Saints.
Liam Buckley has beaten Cork City five times at Richmond Park from 2012 to 2018.
Overall, City boast the better record with a win percentage of 41.8% against the Saints' 35.4%.
St. Patrick’s Athletic 11/5 Draw 21/10 Cork City FC 5/4.
St. Patrick’s Athletic 2-0 Cork City FC.
St. Patrick’s Athletic:
Injured: Owen Garvan, Killian Brennan, Dean Clark, Barry Murphy.
Injured: Johnny Dunleavy.
Doubtful: Conor McCormack, Alan Bennett, Gearóid Morrisey and Steven Beattie.