Tuesday 28 January 2020

Forrest' fire will come in time: Kenny

TUSSLE: St Pats’ Chris Forrester in action against Cork City’s Conor McCormack last Friday. Pic: Sportsfile
TUSSLE: St Pats’ Chris Forrester in action against Cork City’s Conor McCormack last Friday. Pic: Sportsfile

Harry Kenny believes that recent arrival Christopher Forrester needs to work on his fitness before he can really deliver on his potential in his second spell at St Patrick's Athletic.

Almost four years after he left Richmond Park to try and carve out a cross-channel career, Forrester was back in a Saints shirt on Friday night, starting in a 1-0 win over Cork City.

He was replaced after 67 minutes, the pace of the game at times a struggle for the player who was starting a league game for the first time since September, when he was still with Aberdeen.

Boss Kenny, delighted with that opening-day win over last season's league runners-up, says he has high hopes for Forrester but admits that work has to be done.

"I was just a little bit surprised that he was playing Scottish Premiership and not being too clever fitness-wise. Chris isn't the best at getting himself fit in the first place," Kenny said.

"I know that from being with him five years ago but when we get him up to speed a little bit he'll do better. He was good on Friday but I'd like him to be better if I'm being honest," added Kenny, who may give Forrester a run-out in tonight's Leinster Senior Cup tie at home to Wexford FC before next Friday's league test away to Sligo Rovers.

"He was very unfit when he came back from Aberdeen so we've been working him hard while trying to mind him so he doesn't get injured, so we're delighted he got that into him.

"I might give him another go tonight, just to bring him up to speed. We'll give him a few minutes tonight and then Sligo and he wouldn't be far off.

"He can play either way, either wing, off the striker, that holding role in the middle of the pitch that Jamie Lennon played tonight so I've plenty of options with him when he is fit."

Mick McCarthy attended Friday's win over Cork and while it was a dour affair at times, Saints supporters will be thrilled with a winning start to the season, a boost that new signing Mikey Drennan is already off the mark as he scored the only goal of the game form the penalty spot.

"He's been going great in pre-season," said Kenny.

"He scoring goals, he hasn't missed a training session, he's in really good form. He's after losing a bit of weight, getting himself fit so he has the goo to have a right go this season.

"It is a huge win. That's a difficult fixture to open up with. They (Cork) are miles ahead of us in the sense that a lot of those players are with Cork a right few years.

"I'm trying to gel I think eight new signings and I'm trying to get them into a season and knowing each other and I'm delighted with the energy and effort."

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