Guinness Gives Saints Extra Strength

  • Sat, Aug 01, 2009 @ 14:47

ST PATRICK'S Athletic used 'Guinness for Strength' on Thursday night after their hero Declan O'Brien revealed that the sight of opponents Krylya Sovetov loading cans of the famous Irish stout into their dressing-room prior to the match became the Saints' prime motivator.

Sovetov, from a league ranked just below the French Ligue 1 and above the Dutch and Portuguese leagues in UEFA coefficients, were clear favourites to claim victory at Richmond Park in the Europa League third qualification round, first-leg tie.

But, while the visitors dominated for most of the match, Jeff Kenna's side learned that good things come to those who wait as they snatched an unlikely winner in the 70th minute through O'Brien, who afterwards revealed his admiration for the Russians' quality, if not for their modesty.

"At times in the first half it looked like they were playing with us. Before the game I saw them going in with about six crates of Guinness, no joke.

"I told the gaffer before the game that they were going in there with a load of Guinness. They probably have never tried it before and wanted to try it, I don't know. But it definitely added a bit of spur to our team-talk!

"I think they were planning a few drinks on the way back on the plane. They were caught a bit cold, a bit over-confident maybe.

"But there's no doubt they're a top side and it's going to be really backs-to-the-wall over there. It's a fabulous result for Irish soccer at a time when it's all been a bit doom and gloom."

Not only was it a much-needed result for the League, but also for the struggling Inchicore outfit and they were also bolstered by the return to the squad of absentees Gary Dempsey and Mark Leech, with Dempsey emerging from the bench.

And O'Brien believes that the Dubliners could now salvage something from a season that has provided so much disappointment thus far.

"I think we can now get back on track, with Dempsey and Leech back. But also Mark Quigley. I see him in training and he's a fabulous player.

"He could really play at a higher level and there's no doubt about that. It will only strengthen us, for sure."

O'Brien misses out against Dundalk tomorrow night as he is on loan from the Lilywhites but Dempsey and Leech may both return.

Next Fixture

Finn Harps / August 7th @ 7:45pm
Competition: League
Venue: Richmond Park
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