Monday 24 September 2018

Pats look for home comforts

Rovers wary of danger from newly-relegated Drogheda

St Patrick’s Athletic manager Liam Buckley
St Patrick’s Athletic manager Liam Buckley

Liam Buckley hopes that home form can see his St Patrick's Athletic side achieve their goal and retain their top-flight status.

The Saints had a massive boost in their relegation battle in their last outing, a 2-0 win at home to Shamrock Rovers. Still not out of trouble, two of the Saints' last four games are at home, the first taking place today against Limerick and they may need wins from both of those fixtures at Richmond Park to get the points they need.

"Last week's win over Shamrock Rovers was important as it was a much needed three points and a result the lads needed off the back of the defeat to Bohemians," Buckley said.

"We're into the final stretch now with four games over the next four weeks so every game is crucial.


"We're on a good run at home in the league so we'll be looking to keep that up. Our supporters were fantastic in getting behind the team last week against Rovers and it really gave the players that little bit of extra energy in the second half.

"The club are making great efforts to get families down to the game on Saturday so hopefully we'll see good numbers in Inchicore for what is a big game."

While the Saints look over their shoulders at the bottom three, Dublin rivals Shamrock Rovers are glancing up the table, hoping to seal a top-three finish.

Derry City are still in the hunt for that third-place, with Bray Wanderers and Bohemians hoping to catch Derry for fourth, and while Rovers would expect to get the win today away to a Drogheda United side who were officially relegated last week, Hoops boss Stephen Bradley is wary of what Pete Mahon's side could do.

"Drogheda will play with freedom and no fear, they've just been relegated so the shackles are off. They can go and play now so we've got to be ready for that, respect the game that it's going to be and perform to our levels," says Bradley.

"United Park is a tight pitch and out there earlier in the season we were poor, there's no getting away from that. It was one of our worst performances of the season and we'll be looking to put that right.

"I think it's plain to see, anyone who's watched us throughout the season that we're a different team to the one that played up in United Park at the start of the year. We're a better side but it's up to us to go and show that and put on a performance," added Bradley, aware of the threat posed by Derry but still retaining focus on their own situation.

"We're not looking at Derry, we're looking at ourselves, like we did when were behind them. It's about us and concentrating on what we do well and we'll end up where we deserve to be."

Bohemians head west today to face Sligo Rovers, a first home game in 48 days for the Bit O'Red.

"It's ridiculous to have to go this long without a home game, not only for the players but for the club itself. It's required a big effort. We had two good away wins. But the result in Galway was then a big disappointment," says Sligo boss Ger Lyttle.

"To finally be back at home is great and it's a huge game. We have two home matches left to make it count and we need The Showgrounds behind us, full of energy and backing the players as they do.

"We had to travel half the country to get a friendly to keep us ticking over last week against Linfield but it was worthwhile. It was a good exercise and we'll take some of it into this game.

"I watched back our game in Dalymount Park. It was one of best performances we've had and lost the game through our own mistakes.

"I keep saying it but so many of the teams in this league are well-matched. Outside the top two every game is hard to call. Bohs have shown what a good side they are and it's a really hard game for us," added the Belfast native ahead of that clash with Bohs.

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