Monday 18 December 2017

Pats to shuffle pack as Lynch makes return

St Patrick's Athletic are likely to make changes for tonight's game as experienced defender Damian Lynch is available after suspension.

Midfielders Dave McAllister -- man of the match on Sunday -- and Dave Mulcahy are injury concerns for the game but the Pats medical staff will assess them before kick-off.

"I thought Friday night's semi-final between Bohemians and Sligo Rovers was a hard act to follow but, whereas that game was a bit one sided, our game against Rovers was more evenly balanced," said Pats boss Pete Mahon.

"As the home side, there will now be a bit more expectation and pressure on ourselves. I thought yesterday we played well, especially after the first half hour, and if we can play as we did in the second half then we've every chance of making it through."

The Rovers squad will also see changes as Danny Murphy and Craig Sives are back from suspension, but Stephen Rice, James Chambers, Tommy Stewart, Chris Turner and Pat Flynn are all concerns.

Villa ace Clark seeks Irish call

ASTON VILLA star Ciaran Clark is hoping to get the call from Giovanni Trapattoni for next month's friendly against Norway following his decision to 'defect' from England to Ireland.

Defender Clark is very highly rated at Villa Park and he was called on to fill in for Richard Dunne when Dunne picked up an ankle injury during Saturday's Premier League game with Chelsea, Clark's fourth appearance of the season.

He had been capped by England at underage level but after some persuasion by Dubliner Dunne, Clark has decided to throw in his lot with Ireland, the 21-year-old qualifying as his mother is from Leitrim and his paternal grandmother is from Donegal.

"I played for England at youth level but I didn't think I was going anywhere in that department. So when a young lad gets an opportunity like I have with Ireland, it's very hard to turn down," says Clark.

"Richard Dunne played a big part in me linking up with the Republic. He mentioned it to the Irish officials. And then they contacted me and Aston Villa at the start of the season.

"They gave me time to think about it to make a decision and I think I could be in contention for the next international if all the paperwork has gone through. It's fingers crossed. I have to keep working hard and hoping that it will happen," added Clark.


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