The Saints are back in action on Monday as they host Sligo Rovers in the Setanta Sports Cup semi-final second leg as Liam Buckley's side look to turn around a two goal deficit from the first leg – kick-off in Richmond Park is at the later time of 8pm.
Sligo hold the advantage in the tie after a 2-0 win through goals from Danny North in either half saw off the SSE Airtricity League champions three weeks ago.
Ahead of the tie, Saints' manager Liam Buckley told stpatsfc.com that his squad are full of belief that they can still progress to the Setanta Sports Cup final, with either Dundalk or Shamrock Rovers awaiting.
“We've had two good wins in the last few days, so the lads are in good form heading into the game. Sligo may have an advantage going into Monday evening, but we are still only 90 minutes away from the final so we'll be fighting tooth and nail to get there.”
Following several knocks picked up in the last few games, Liam Buckley reports that both Ger O'Brien (groin) and Killian Brennan (hamstring) will face late fitness tests before kick-off.
After sustaining a heavy knock to his jaw in last Friday's 1-0 home win against Shamrock Rovers, Buckley confirmed that Saints' midfielder Greg Bolger suffered no break as was intially feared, with the Wexford born man now in contention to make an appearance on Monday.
Having injured his hamstring in the first leg defeat, Rene Gilmartin misses out, though Buckley reports that he continues to make good progress in his recovery. James Chambers also sits out the Setanta clash having received a one match ban for his red card in the Showgrounds.
For Saints' wide man Daryl Kavanagh, the need to motivate himself to turn the tie around is not needed having been knocked out of last year's semi-finals with Cork City – the Leesiders exiting the competition at the hands of eventual winners Shamrock Rovers after an injury time winning goal from Billy Dennehy knocked Kavanagh and the Leesiders out.
“That was a hurtful moment,” Kavanagh admitted when speaking to stpatsfc.com. “I was after scoring a goal just before that. That would have sent us through to the final, but a few minutes later Billy scored a goal and that knocked us out. I've never got to the final of the Setanta Sports Cup before so that's something I'd like to do.”
The Saints have history in winning a home leg of a semi-final against Sligo Rovers in the Setanta Sports Cup, having defeated Paul Cook's side in 2010 on a 4-1 scorline. Despite the deficit to the Bit O'Red this time around, Carrick on Suir man Kavanagh remained bullish about the Saints' chances.
“Hopefully we can get an early goal. Whatever team Liam picks, it'll be strong. Sligo are a good side and I heard they played well against Cork at the weekend so I think they are turning the tide a bit.”
“The first leg was close enough at times, but between the first goal and then James Chambers' red the last day, they got momentum and we never got a good run at them. Any player that goes onto that pitch tomorrow will believe we can get something out of the game, so we'll really be up for it.”
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