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Sunday 24 September 2017

O'Brien pining for Pat's prize

AFTER repeated successes on foreign fields for St Patrick's Athletic, Saints defender Ger O'Brien says that it's time for the Dublin club to start delivering on the home front by lifting a trophy.

Another run in Europe this season, which saw Pat's get into the third round of UEFA competition yet again, earned kudos and cash for Liam Buckley's team, but fans have endured a famine of domestic success, with just two League Cups brought home in the past 13 years.

Full back O'Brien is typical of the Pat's squad, a player who has spent a long time in the league but with little to show for it in terms of medals and he's eager to change that.

"It's a big factor for us as players, the desire to win things," says O'Brien ahead of tonight's FAI Cup quarter-final at home to Drogheda United.

"After we were knocked out of Europe by Hannover and then lost to Bray we got together as a group and had a chat. We said that there was no point in having a European run if we just fizzled out in the league.

"We have kicked on since then, we're on a good run in the league and have a chance of making it into the Cup semi-finals, where you're one game away from the Aviva Stadium, which is really something to aim for.

"But we want to win things. We all know how long it's been since Pat's as a club won the Cup, but as players we want medals too. I have only won the First Division, from my time with Shamrock Rovers, apart from that all I have is a few semi-final appearances.

"I don't want to finish my career with just one First Division medal, I want more, and so do the other players," added O'Brien.

"A handful of our lads have medals - Brendan Clarke won the Cup, Aidan Price won the league, James Chambers and Pat Flynn won things too but that's about it, so I think that's why this group of players are hungry to do well and get to a Cup final."

Pat's had an easy path into the quarter-finals - the demise of Monaghan United gave them a bye - but progress to the last four will be hard as they face an in-form Drogheda side, who have won their last three league games in a row and have also reached the League Cup final.

"It's a tough game for us but the main thing is we're at home so we have a good chance," says O'Brien.

"Drogheda are a very good side and I have huge respect for Mick Cooke and the job he's done.

"People have said for ages that their run won't last but there they are, up there in the table on merit and we'll have a hard job in getting past them in the Cup."

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