- Saturday November 3rd, 2012 @ 8:20
Saints Ready For Final Showdown
St Pats will be hoping to end their 51 year wait for cup success this Sunday as they face Derry City in the FAI Cup final in the Aviva Stadium.
The Saints have suffered defeat in the final on six occasions since their last triumph in 1961, the last of which was against this weekend's opponents as the Inchicore side lost out on a 4-3 scoreline in the 2006 final.
The Saints' manager has also had mixed fortunes in the FAI Cup final having lost finals as a player to UCD while playing with Shamrock Rovers, and against Shelbourne as part of the Saints' squad that lost the 1996 final.
Buckley however can look back to the 2009 triumph with Sporting Fingal in the cup as a positive as his side claimed a late victory over Sligo Rovers in a pulsating match.
With two quality sides taking to the pitch on the Aviva this Sunday, Buckley expects the occasion and match itself to be of a very high standard.
“Everyone is looking forward to Sunday, these are the games all players dream about, train hard and work towards.
“For the neutrals it will be a great game to watch as Derry are an attacking side, while we always go out to win as well.
“I'd expect some good football to be on show, so hopefully we can get our support out to the Aviva to cheer us on as they really showed are our twelfth man in the earlier rounds of the cup against Drogheda and Dundalk when we got through some hard matches.”
As Buckley rallied the troops, he admitted the prospect of facing a Derry City side which Pats have never beaten in the FAI Cup before would be a challenge.
However, the Saints' manager maintained that his side remain confident in their ability and capability of claiming victory.
“That support will be needed as Derry are going to be really tough opponents.
“They don't give you anything easy, as we know from the three tight games with them this season in the league.
“We were able to come out on top in two of those matches, while Derry won the most recent one a few weeks back.
“But Sunday's game however is completely different, so we just have to take the game on his merits.
“If we can produce a good level of performance, hopefully we'll come out on top and give our fans something to celebrate on Sunday evening.”
Mark Rossiter will miss out on the final as he continues to recover from a knee injury originally picked up against Derry last May, while Darren Meenan also misses out due to a shoulder problem.
Greg Bolger remains a doubt with an ankle problem, though Buckley is hopeful he will be available.
Goalkeeper Barry Murphy will be fit after missing the final league game of the season against Cork City with an ankle injury.
Murphy was the hero in the Quarter Final penalty shootout victory over Drogheda United but will face an anxious wait to see if he makes the starting line-up after Brendan Clarke kept a clean sheet in the Saints' victory over Cork in the league last week.