Timlin: 'Home form is not good enough'
It's a big week ahead for St Patrick's Athletic, but midfielder Mark Timlin admits that his side are already running of of games as they try to impose themselves on the 2016 season.
To prevent a fixture backlog in July when they enter the Europa League, the Saints have rearranged their league match with Finn Harps for this evening. Getting their domestic form back on track is the priority, though, as Liam Buckley's men dropped more valuale points at home to Longford Town with a 3-3 draw last Friday.
Already 14 points behind leaders Dundalk, anything less than a win in their two games this week - Harps in the league tonight and Pike Rovers in the FAI Cup on Saturday - would effectively end their season.
"I know we're only just into the second series of games, but the games are going past us and we're not picking up the results we need. If we keep playing the way we are at the minute, we won't be fighting for anything at the end of the season," says Timlin.
"We need to string a few results together, starting at home tonight, because the top two of Dundalk and Cork are just winning away every week and pulling further away from us. We will look to the weekend Cup game, which is important for us, once we have the league game out of the way but we need to get wins on board and we need those points soon," admits Timlin,l baffled by his club's erratic home form.
"It's hard to put your finger on what's wrong but a lot of it is down to the fact that we're a new squad," he says. "We have a lot of new players in the team and it's taken a lot longer than we'd have hoped for us to click as a team.
"Maybe with time it will come but I know it's frustrating for the fans to watch at the minute, especially as the home record is so poor but if we can get a few wins on board, we can move on."
As a Donegal native, Timlin understands the mindset in the county and knows that the Harps squad will still be smarting from their 7-0 loss to Dundalk last week. "Anyone who loses 7-0 will be hurt and those Harps players will want to make amends," says the Buncrana native.
"But we're coming off the back of a bad result ourselves, that draw with Longford, so both teams will be looking to turn that poor recent form around. We have to try and put on a performance, especially at home, as recent results have not been good enough."
Pats are again without Chris Fagan due to injury.