herald

Friday 20 July 2018

Dublin can be heaven for the Saints

City slickers: Killian Brennan (c) and his St Patrick’s Athletic team-mates celebrate their second goal against Shamrock Rovers recently
City slickers: Killian Brennan (c) and his St Patrick’s Athletic team-mates celebrate their second goal against Shamrock Rovers recently

The Tottenham boys didn't manage to win the league title in England this season.

But they did finish top of another sort of table, kings of London as the highest-ranked team from the capital there in the Premier League.

Over here, the league title will, barring a major collapse, end up in the hands of Cork City or Dundalk for the fifth year in a row. Killian Brennan has three league medals to show for his years of service, and it's unlikely he win add to that this term.

But he feels that it's within the grasp of his current club, St Patrick's Athletic, to follow on from Spurs and finish on top from their own mini-league, insisting that the Saints are no longer willing to roll over for rivals.

Last season, where the Saints flirted with relegation for far too long, they were bottom of the pile when it came to Dublin clubs, finishing eighth, behind Shamrock Rovers (3rd) and Bohemians (5th).

St Pat’s boss Liam Buckley faces Derry City tonight
St Pat’s boss Liam Buckley faces Derry City tonight

Approaching the half-way stage of the 2018 season, Pat's are already five points ahead of Rovers and a further three above Bohs, Europe in their sights now as they take on Derry City tonight where a win can push them into the top four.

"Our aim is to be the best club in Dublin, and we are doing that at the moment, but there's a long way to go," Brennan told The Herald.

"Sometimes you narrow down your targets. Dundalk and Cork have been the top two teams for the last five years, whoever wins the most points between those two teams will win the league.

"So we see ourselves in the next tier of teams, with the likes of Derry, Rovers and Waterford, Bohs not far behind.

"It's bragging rights if you can be the top club in Dublin. It's not about having bragging rights and just finishing seventh, it's finishing third and qualifying for Europe ahead of your close rivals. So if we can finish up as the best of the Dublin teams it should get us Europe and that's the aim," says Brennan.

The veteran, who won a league title with Pat's in 2013, had been away from Pat's for 18 months when he rejoined last summer but he'd noticed a slide in his time away from Richmond Park.

"I think we have stopped being that nicey-nicey team, and at home we fancy ourselves against anyone, our record at Richmond Park is really good," he says.

"A year or two ago other teams could come to Pat's and think 'these lads are a soft touch'.

"That's not the case now, anyone coming to Richmond Park will get a game, we have more backbone about us now, that leads to better results and that feeds into more confidence from the crowd."

Brennan senses a more positive mood around the ground, Pat's working hard to win back fans with gestures like 'kids go free' for tonight's clash with Derry.

"I think Pat's took the foot off the gas over the last few years," he says. "But I think the club has turned a corner and is back to where we need to be, a club of this size should be in Europe every year."

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