Fagan: Saints can handle it
St Pat's strikers' goals earn him SWAI prize
The pressure is already on - and Chris Fagan believes that his St Patrick's Athletic side have to simply deal with the demands from their own supporters this season.
Monday night brought yet another successful away day for Liam Buckley's side as a 2-1 victory in Finn Park made it three wins from three away games.
Fagan didn't score in that one, a rare blank for the player whose form in March earned him the prize of player of the month from the SSE Airtricity Soccer Writers Association of Ireland, but he played his part in a win which lifted the Saints from sixth to fourth.
But the record at their Emmet Road home of one win from four is less impressive. The team have delivered a trophy per year for the last three seasons and come to expect more, as Fagan admits.
"I don't think that there's more pressure," he says of the home record, "that's just because of the success of the last couple of seasons. That's the pressure we've put on ourselves.
"We're expecting to beat teams when we play at home. Some weeks it doesn't happen so you take the bit of criticism when it comes from the fans and take the good weeks when they come as well. That's football, isn't it?" added the former Bohemians man.
The Saints have dropped points from winnable games at home to Galway United and Sligo Rovers but the sight of rivals Dundalk, Cork City and Shamrock Rovers all failing to win is heartening. "It's not nice to be beaten by Galway first game of the season or to be beaten 4-0 by Dundalk. But I think it's just an eye-opener to show you the league is going to be closer this year and teams are going to drop points," he says.
"That's the way the league looks like it's going to be this year - there will be points dropped. You can't dwell on a bad result, you have to go again the next week and try to stay as high up the table as we can or as close to Dundalk and Cork as we can."
For Fagan, the main enjoyment from this season is being injury-free after missing so much action last term, his ailment finally relieved by a treatment called Platelet Replenishment.
"Hopefully, hopefully that's the injuries done. It was good to get a pre-season in and not have any injuries, not be stop-starting, I went into the season and started well and hopefully I can continue," he added, Pats in action at home to Wexford Youths on Friday.