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Thursday 14 December 2017

Clarke tips Pats to overcome deficit and gain Cliftonville revenge

BRENDAN CLARKE believes that his St Patrick's Athletic side are very much in the hunt for a place in the next round of the Setanta Sports Cup.

The Saints exited the competition at the first-round stage last season as they were beaten by Irish league side Cliftonville -- Pats lost the first leg, away from home 3-0 and a 2-0 win in the home leg was not enough to keep them in the competition.

There's a chance of history repeating itself as Pats played Cliftonville again in the first-round, first-leg tie last Monday and lost 1-0, so the Saints need a big display against the Reds at Richmond Park tonight.

"We have kept the tie alive, we would liked to have won last week, of course, but it's only 1-0 and with the players we have in the squad, we are more than capable of scoring two goals and winning the tie," said keeper Clarke, ready for his home 'debut' in his second spell with Pats, having re-signed for the club in the off season after spending the previous two seasons with Sporting Fingal and Sligo Rovers.

"We did well last Monday, given that it was our first competitive game. We're only three weeks into it and there are a lot of small things we need to improve on but we're looking forward to this game and we're confident of getting a result," he added.

Reds manager Tommy Breslin insists his side won't come to Dublin just to defend.

"We're naturally an attacking team, we can't play any other way. Plus, we're fast running out of defenders so we don't have much choice," he said.

Greg Bolger and John Russell are available for the Saints after missing the away leg through suspension.

ST PATRICK'S ATH v CLIFTONVILLE, LIVE SETANTA IRELAND (KO 7.15)

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