Team News: Derry City Vs Saints (Friday, 7.45pm)
- Thu, Oct 26, 2017 @ 19:12
St Patrick's Athletic make the journey to Maginn Park on Friday as they face Derry City in their final game of the 2017 SSE Airtricity League season (kick-off 7.45pm).
The Saints make the trip to Buncrana in good spirits following the 4-2 victory over league champions Cork City last Friday in Richmond Park which leaves Liam Buckley's men needing a point at most to secure the Premier Division status for next year.
Pat's head into the meeting against Derry City with a good head-to-head record this season to date having drawn 2-2 in Maginn Park back in April, and having claimed a 2-1 home win in Inchicore thanks to goals from Kurtis Byrne (penalty) and Graham Kelly in July.
The aforementioned Kelly returns to the Saints' matchday squad for Friday's game having served a one match suspension, while the Saints were also boosted by the return to training of Darren Dennehy this week. Defender Jordi Balk misses out due to suspension, while manager Liam Buckley will give Owen Garvan a late fitness test on a knee injury.
"I was delighted with the effort and application of the players last week," Buckley admitted when speaking to stpatsfc.com. "We fell behind to two goals early on, and yet still had the mindset and maturity to not panic and keep playing our game and get the rewards. From one to eleven, and the guys who came in off the bench, the team were fantastic against Cork City."
"We'll be looking to maintain that level of performance against Derry on Friday and if we can do that and still improve on a few little things, hopefully we can finish the season with a win."
Commenting on Friday's opponents, Buckley praised the work of his counterpart in 2017 and reflected that the acheievements of Derry City go a long to paying tribute to the late Ryan McBride.
"Derry are a good side and Kenny Shiels has done a great job this season. Qualifying for Europe is a great achievement considering the year they have had. It's a great way of commemorating the late Ryan McBride, who we all still remember for the passionate player and superb leader that he was."