Buckley is braced for Drogs test
St Patrick's Athletic return to SSE Airtricity League Premier Division action tonight as they travel up the M1 to face Drogheda United at United Park.
The Saints will be looking to put the disappointment of their exit from the UEFA Europa League to Skonto FC (Latvia) last week behind them and continue their domestic form which has seen them win their last five games.
Saints' manager Liam Buckley said that the players are motivated now on domestic issues, with the game against Drogheda their primary focus. "Last week was very disappointing for everyone, but we know have to move on and look to bounce back," Buckley said.
"We travel to Drogheda now and will be looking to make sure we put in a performance. We had a tough game against Drogheda earlier in the season and Johnny (McDonnell) will have them set-up very well. United Park is always a tough place to go to so we're expecting no different on Friday."
In team news, the Saints' manager confirmed that the Inchicore side remain without the services of Sean Hoare with a hamstring injury, though Buckley is hopeful he will be back in action soon. Elsewhere Christy Fagan faces a late fitness test after picking up a knock against Skonto FC.
Looking ahead to the game, Saints' skipper Ger O'Brien echoed Buckley's thought, re-emphasising that the players were looking ahead now and concentrating on their domestic form with crucial league, EA Sports Cup and FAI Cup games ahead.
"We need to find the league form we were producing from just before the Europa League campaign. There's still a lot to play for from now till the end of the season."
TONIGHT: PREMIER DIVISON
Derry City v Limerick, Brandywell (7.45)
League form: Derry City LLDLL Limerick LLLLL
Match odds: Derry 4/7, Limerick 5/1, Draw 11/4
Team news: Derry didn't start off this season as relegation contenders but they are now in a situation where they need to prove they have the quality to pull away from trouble. Limerick are fighting for their lives, even if they don't seem to be capable of grinding out the necessary results. This is a big game for both protagonists.
Drogheda U v St Pat's A, United Pk (7.45)
League form: Drogheda WWDWL St Pat's Ath LWWWW
Match odds: Drogheda WWDWL St Pat's Ath LWWWW
Team news: New signings Robert Bayly and Ger Pender are available for Drogheda, and the latter could be needed with Lee Duffy suspended. Shane Dunne, James Daly, Dylan Connolly, Fionn Reilly and Lloyd Buckley are unavailable.
Bohemians v Sligo Rovers, Dalymount Park (8.05) - Live on Setanta Ireland
League form: Bohemians WLWLL Sligo Rovers LLLDW
Match odds: Bohemians 11/10, Sligo 12/5, Draw 23/10
Team news: Bohs will be without the suspended Lorcan Fitzgerald and Jake Hyland is a major doubt but Jason Byrne and Dylan Hayes are back in contention. Derek Pender, Marc Griffin and Dan Byrne remain on the long term list. Sligo's injury list is a long one; Danny Ledwith, Stephen Folan, John Russell and Jeff Henderson are out and the prognosis is negative for Morten Nielsen and Eoin Wearen. Kevin Devaney is a doubt, but Richard Brush and Ruairi Keating are available.