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Saturday 3 December 2016

Saints seek to win the mind games

Aaron Greene, St Patrick's Athletic
Aaron Greene, St Patrick's Athletic

AARON Greene believes that his St Patrick’s Athletic side can gain a major psychological advantage over their rivals Shamrock Rovers with a win in tonight’s refixed Dublin derby.

A deluge of rain in the city on Friday forced the postponement of the game at Richmond Park but dry spells, and hard work by the Richmond Park groundstaff, means the pitch is playable.

With Dundalk showing no signs of fatigue – Saturday’s 2-0 win over Longford Town was their fourth straight win – it’s important for the trio of Pats, Rovers and Bohemians to keep up with the table -toppers and Greene – who has played for all three clubs – knows that tonight is important.

“We can leapfrog Rovers in the table if we beat them and that’s what we have to try and do,” says Greene, enjoying a run of form that’s seen him make eight successive league starts.

“Psychologically, it would be massive for us to go ahead of Rovers. We have been trailing behind teams for the first series of games and the Pats fans don’t like that. It would be a confidence boost for us as players and our fans would get the bragging rights from a win.

“We are unbeaten since the Dundalk game in March and we just want to keep up the momentum. We can’t start worrying about Dundalk’s form, we have to do our job and see how we are fixed when we play them again in a few weeks.

“We’re looking forward to tonight as we were all gutted that the game was off on Friday. It’s like when you’re a schoolkid, you wait all week for your game and then it’s called off at the last minute, but we’re ready for it now,” added Greene.

Ger O’Brien and Chris Fagan are likely to miss out again for Pats, while Dave Webster is out for the Hoops.

In tonight’s other game, Cork City will hope to close the gap on a rampant Dundalk when they take on Drogheda United at Turner’s Cross.

City have gone through a mini-slump of late, with one point from two games against Dundalk and Bohemians, and they had to work hard for Friday’s win at home to Sligo Rovers, though boss John Caulfield remains upbeat.

“We are a point ahead of where we were last year, we are second in the table and we are trying to keep the pressure on,” he says.

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