- Thursday April 5th, 2012 @ 14:13
Preview: Saints Vs Rovers
St Pat's host Shamrock Rovers this Friday in Richmond Park with Liam Buckley's side hoping to end the league champions' unbeaten start to the season.
The Saints' last league success against the Hoops came in March 2010 when goals from Vinny Faherty and Ian Bermingham secured a 2-0 win, while one would have to go back to November 2009 for the last time the Saints recorded a home league win against their Dublin rivals, current New England Revolution striker Ryan Guy with the only goal of the game.
Saints' full-back Ian Bermingham, the only member of the Pats squad to have scored in a tie between the Saints and the Hoops, emphasised the self-belief and determination within the side to gain the three points on Friday.
“Yeah we're looking forward to it now, cannot wait.”
“I think with Rovers having won the league last year, everybody wants to play them, give them a good game and beat them. We'll be no different. We'll be going out to win the game and we're confident that we can win.”
The game between Dublin's two leading sides in the league promises to be an entertaining affair in front of what is expected to be a packed Richmond Park.
The sides recent form has differed though, as the Hoops have recently had comfortable victories over fellow Dublin rivals Shelbourne and Bohemians, while the Saints go into the game on the back of three draws in their last three league games.
Speaking to stpatsfc.com, Saints' midfielder James Chambers revealed that the squad was keen to make up for last week's 1-1 draw against Shelbourne and return to winning ways. “Yeah we're unbeaten so far, but we should've won on Friday, end of story.”
“The other two performances before that weren't great, but if we can get the three points on Friday it'll be great. But I think we just want to continue on from the Shelbourne performance that we put in and that's the benchmark that we've set ourselves now.”
The Saints' squad contains many former Shamrock Rovers players, including Bermingham and Chambers, while Barry Murphy, Aidan Price, Pat Flynn, Seán O'Connor, Dean Kelly and Ger O'Brien have also worn the green and white hoops.
However for O'Brien, despite being Shamrock Rovers' 2007 Player of the Year, the experience of receiving stick from the away fans is something to be expected.
“Yeah I'm used to it by now. But I've plenty of friends who are Shamrock Rovers fans and I still keep in contact with a lot of good people up there. It's all in good nature, but the most important thing is that we put in a positive performance and get a good result.”
Saints' manager Liam Buckley is boosted with the return of Dean Kelly from his a two match suspension, leaving former Hoops' captain Aidan Price as the Saints' only absentee. Buckley accepted that facing Shamrock Rovers would be his side's toughest test to date.
“You look at themselves and Sligo, they'll be the top two to beat this year. If you mix it in with them, you have a chance,” he told stpatsfc.com.
“They have a new management team, a strong squad, they've won the league the last two seasons, so they are the team to beat. So it'll be interesting to see where we are in our development. We need to turn our performances into results, so if we can start on Friday it'll be great.”