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Saturday 16 December 2017

Liam: Saints need to do a lot better boss

Bucko unhappy with 'poor' show

St Patrick’s Athletic manager Liam Buckley is pictured during last Friday’s Premier Division defeat to Galway United Photo: Sportsfile
St Patrick’s Athletic manager Liam Buckley is pictured during last Friday’s Premier Division defeat to Galway United Photo: Sportsfile

Two years ago this week, Dundalk began the new season with an awful 4-1 defeat on the opening day of the campaign and went on to win the title in style, so early-season form isn't always an indicator of what's to come.

But even the manager of St Patrick's Athletic is concerned about the shoddy display by his side on the first weekend of the 2016 season, Saints fans horrified to see their side throw away a 1-0 lead, thanks to a Chris Fagan goal, at home to an unfancied Galway United and go on to lose 3-1.

Focusing on the Saints' collapse does not do credit to Tommy Dunne and his Galway side, who fully deserved their win in front of a most pleased fan of theirs, President Michael D Higgins. Galway now feel they have three unexpected points in the bank as only the most optimistic of United fans would have taken the pre-match odds of 6/1 on a Galway win.

"Nobody did themselves justice on Friday night. There's quite a bit of work to be done but we need to knuckle down and get it done," says Buckley, hoping to freshen things up for their next tests, away to Longford Town on Friday and then a Dublin derby against Bohemians next Monday.

"We're disappointed that our possession of the ball was poor, extremely poor," says Buckley.

"Our defending was poor, we didn't do a hell of a lot in the middle of the park and we didn't create a lot of chances. As soon as we scored we took our foot off the pedal," he added, horrified at the Galway revival which brought goals from Vinny Faherty, John Sullivan and sub Ryan Curran.

"We will do better than than. We have to work hard and quickly, otherwise you find yourself off the pace. With due respect to Galway they played well on Friday night but we didn't and we got turned over.

"It was distinctly average on Friday, all three goals we conceded were poor, the defending was extremely poor. Normally we link in the play well from the middle but the other night we were off the pace."

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