- Friday July 22nd, 2011 @ 12:42
KENNA TO RETURN AS SAINTS GO BACK TO BASICS
St Patrick's Athletic will forget their European adventure for a few days at least as they concentrate on overcoming Airtricity League Premier Division leaders Sligo Rovers in the Showgrounds tomorrow (Saturday) night (kick off: 7.45 pm)
The Saints currently sit four points behind Sligo and though they have a game in hand, a defeat will make it difficult for Pete Mahon's side to maintain their title challenge.
St Pats captain Conor Kenna will start his first game since the 11th March having proved his fitness to Pete Mahon following a long term knee injury.
His presence may well be needed as both Brian Shortall and Derek Pender picked up knocks in Thursday's Europa League game and are rated extremely doubtful.
Otherwise the Saints have a full squad to choose from with Anthony Murphy, Dave Mulcahy and David McMillan all set to feature after coming off the bench against Shakhter Karagandy.
"We're obviously going to have to switch things around because you can't ask all the same players to play again 48 hours after last night's game.
"The European game took an awful lot out of us both mentally and physically so it's going to mean we have to bring other bodies in.
"In saying that we had a very strong bench last night and there's not one of those players that I would hesitate starting.
"Derek Pender and Brian Shortall are touch and go but not looking good. The rest are ok but there are a few other walking wounded and we'll have to assess them in the morning before finalising the team.
"Playing the game so soon after last night's game is something that was beyond our control but when you see other clubs who are in Europe having games called off then it is a bit annoying.
"What I think should have happened is that before the start of the season a ruling should have been made in relation to fixtures for clubs playing in Europe and it could have been applied across the board.
"That hasn't happened though and we'll have to get on with it. There'll be no bad blood between the teams or the clubs because we have an awful lot of respect for Sligo Rovers and I've no doubt it will be a good game tomorrow."
"It does give us an opportunity to get some game time for some players and I'm very pleased to have Conor Kenna back.
"He'll start the game and it can only be good to have your captain back.
"He's only played two games this season so he's been out for a long time but he's shown me in training that he's fully recovered and it will be important for us to get him some game time."