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Saturday 24 September 2016

Saints must do better - Buckley

St Pats' gear up for tricky Harps test

St Patrick’s Athletic manager Liam Buckley
St Patrick’s Athletic manager Liam Buckley

It's way too early to press the panic button, but Liam Buckley admits that his St Patrick's Athletic side need to get into their groove pretty quickly after a sluggish start.

The Saints were by no means title favourites this term but the sight of the Dublin club being just about in the top six, ahead of Bohemians on goal difference, is a case of targets not being met, and Pats could have dropped into the bottom half only for the fact that they came from behind to get a draw at home to Sligo Rovers on Friday night.

So with a trip north to face Finn Harps tonight in a rearranged game (8pm), Buckley knows an upturn is needed. "I would have expected our performances to be better six games into the season," Buckley told The Herald.

"We will work on that to get it better, and we will get better. We have worked hard and we have picked up good results, we beat Longford and Shamrock Rovers away, we beat Bohemians at home, so it's not all doom and gloom but we want to get back to winning ways.

"We need to get our link play to be better and we are struggling with that a bit at the moment. The more we emphasise the key points to the players and work on things with them, the more we'll get there.

"Overall, it's a very competitive league. You saw Wexford Youths getting a result in Cork and Derry popping Shamrock Rovers 3-0, Galway beating us and Derry beating Dundalk. Points have been dropped all over the place and I envisage it being like that all season."

The Saints have had the same back four for the last five games but there's likely to be at least one chance in Ballybofey tonight as captain Ger O'Brien suffered an ankle injury in the draw at home to Sligo Rovers on Friday and is doubtful, but other changes could be made.

"I will have a look at it before this match tonight. We do have a squad and we won't be picking the same team every week. From last Friday, we have at least seven games in four weeks, we have a League Cup game next week, so everyone in the squad will play some part," he said.

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