- Thursday August 21st, 2008 @ 12:38
SLIGO TEST FOR SUNDAY SAINTS
St Patrick's Athletic face Sligo Rovers this Sunday in Richmond Park in what will be The Saints' fifth Sunday game in the last five weeks.
The Saints have defeated Sligo in their two previous encounters this season with captain Jamie Harris on the score sheet on both occasions.
However, Harris is a major doubt for Sunday's game having taken a knock in training and looks set to miss out.
Saints' boss John McDonnell also waits on the fitness of defender Dessie Byrne who suffered a hamstring strain prior to the UEFA Cup game with IF Elfsborg last week.
Definitely out are Derek O'Brien, Glen Fitzpatrick (both ankle) and Dave Partridge though Partridge is expected to resume full contact training next week as he recovers from a wrist injury.
The Saints welcome back Jason Gavin who was cup tied for last Sunday's 3-1 FAI Cup defeat of Wexford Youths.
Also back in contention is Gary O'Neill who hasn't started a game since the defeat of Bray Wanderers on 20th June due to a groin injury.
That Bray game was the last time Pats played a home game on a Friday night and McDonnell told stpatsfc.com that it is far from ideal.
“Our set up is aimed at getting people ready for matches during the week but the week staggers along when you're waiting for a game from Sunday to Sunday.
“I know some games are moved because of European games but moving the games for TV can cause problems. We only had about 1800 at the Drogheda game a couple of weeks ago and there's no doubt that if it had been played on the Friday we'd have had a much bigger crowd.
“It's great having better exposure for the league but the money we get for moving a game doesn't always compensate the loss on the gate and as a result the loss in atmosphere.
"The simple fact is that people have to get up for work on a Monday morning and their few bob for the weekend could be gone by Sunday night and it's having an affect on us.”
Sunday's game is being broadcast live on Setanta Ireland and kick off is at 7 p.m.
Tickets for this game are currently available from the ticket office at Richmond Park.