- Thursday August 16th, 2012 @ 15:30
RUSSELL A DOUBT FOR SEAGULLS VISIT
The Saints return to league action in Inchicore for the first time in over a month as they welcome Bray Wanderers to Richmond Park.
Following Monday night's 1-0 win in Turner's Cross against Cork City, thanks to Christy Fagan's ninth league goal of the season, Liam Buckley's side will be aiming to close the gap on the teams at the top of the league.
Speaking to stpatsfc.com, the Saints manager spoke of his delight of the win against the Rebel army in what was his side's return to domestic action after the Europa League games against NK Široki Brijeg and Hannover 96.
"Monday was a big win for us as Cork played well and they are a tricky side to play against.
"They will take points off other sides in Turner's Cross, so for us to go down there and come back with the three points was great as it puts us back in the mix."
However while the Saints moved closer to the league's top three sides last Monday night, he warned that the players needed to move on and focus on Friday's opponents Bray Wanderers, referring to the late equaliser from Jason Byrne in the 3-3 draw in the Carlisle Grounds back in May as proof of the danger Pat Devlin's side would pose his Saints' side.
“If the last game between the sides is anything to go by, the crowd on Friday are set for an exciting game.
"Hopefully this time though, it'll be a game we finish on the right side of.
"Bray always produce a performance in Inchicore so we know that it will be a tricky game on Friday.”
Buckley welcomes Jake Carroll back into contention for a starting place having served a one match suspension, while John Russell will have a fitness test before kick-off to determine if he takes part.
Mark Rossiter remains out with a knee injury, while Stephen O'Flynn (ribs) and Dean Kelly (groin) remain on the sidelines.
With second placed Drogheda playing third placed Shamrock Rovers also on Friday, defender Ger O'Brien told stpatsfc.com that the players recognise that three points against could lift them right into contention with the sides at the top of the league.
“The most important thing that we can do at the minute is focus on ourselves.
"We're a few games behind on other teams, so we have to get a few results to make up the ground.
"While we can't affect the results of others, we know we can gain ground on one or two of the teams ahead of us this Friday so we've got to be fully concentrated for the 90 minutes in order to capitalise."