Following their midweek draw in the Europa League, the Saints return to league action this Sunday with a trip to the Belfield Bowl to face UCD as they aim to return to winning ways in domestic competition.
Pats will be hoping to bounce back their second defeat of the season in the league after last week, Drogheda United claiming a 2-0 win in Richmond Park through goals from Gavin Brennan and Peter Hynes.
However after the 1-1 draw Široki Brijeg in Bosnia during the week, Saints' boss Liam Buckley outlined that spirits in the squad were high after the result gained on Thursday.
“The team put in a good shift on Thursday night. The conditions (heat and humidity) were difficult but we played to our strengths and although we were disappointed with conceding the late goal it was an excellence performance and the tie is still alive going into the return match next week.”
With German side Hannover 96 awaiting the winners of Pats and Široki, Buckley warned that his side would be quickly punished by Martin Russell's UCD side if they weren't 100% focused on Sunday's league game, citing the Saints' recent league record in the Bowl of 3 defeats in the last 4 games as proof of the challenge that the Students would pose.
“UCD play a similar style of football to ourselves, so it should be an entertaining game for the supporters. Martin (Russell) will have his team well prepared and will have play to our best if we are to win and close the gap on the top two.”
Former UCD captain and current Saints' skipper Conor Kenna misses Sunday's game through suspension, while Mark Rossiter continues to be sidelined as he recovers from knee surgery.
With the UCD match being the Saints' sixth game of the month to date, Buckley is likely to make changes to his side.
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