- Thursday March 15th, 2018 @ 13:00
TEAM NEWS: Sham. Rvs Vs SAINTS (Friday 8pm)
St Patrick's Athletic make the short trip to Tallaght Stadium on Friday night as they face Shamrock Rovers in the SSE Airtricity League (kick-off 8pm).
Pat's head into their second Dublin derby in the space of a week following last Friday's 1-0 victory over Bohemians, while the Saints also came away with a point following Monday's 0-0 draw at home to Dundalk.
Ticket details for St Pat's fans ahead of the game can be found HERE
In team news, Liam Buckley's side have been boosted by the return to training this week of Killian Brennan, coupled also with the recent return to training of fellow Drogheda native Thomas Byrne. Midfielder Jamie Lennon will face a late fitness test ahead of the game as Buckley otherwise has a full squad to select from.
"Friday is another game that both the players and management are looking forward to. This run of games we are in the middle of is a real test of everyone so we are all working hard to recover and stay in condition ahead of each fixture," Buckley told stpatsfc.com.
"Shamrock Rovers have had a decent start to the season. They have been amongst the goals in a few games so we know they are strong going forward and will pose teams problems throughout the season. Crucially though, we know that we can only control our own performance levels and we are concentrating on being ready for the game and applying ourselves as best as possible.
"It is another Dublin derby in the space of a few days so the players know what to expect in terms of atmosphere on the night. We had a great win last week against Bohs in a derby, and it meant a lot to both the players and supporters. We got a well deserved point then on Monday against Dundalk, so we want to make our fans happy again. That is the aim on Friday night and hopefully we can get another result."
For goalkeeper Barry Murphy, he admitted to stpatsfc.com that Friday's game presents an opportunity to continue to build on the momentum from the two results recorded in the last week.
"It was a real shift put in by the lads on Monday night against Dundalk, especially coming off the back of the game against Bohs. A few people were out on their feet at the end but we battled until the end and got a good point so we are looking to continue this mini run of results we are currently on.
"This time of the year, pitches aren't the best so teams have to slog out a little bit and be prepared to work hard. We have done that in the last two games and we will be ready to do so again on Friday."
The experience of playing in Dublin derbies between Shamrock Rovers and Pat's is one Murphy is accustomed to having played for both clubs. In reflecting on his experience on past games, the Saints' number one outlined his belief that focusing on the game has to be the sole priority.
"Dublin derbies are always great to play in. You are playing in front of bumper crowds and there is a great atmosphere to each derby. However from a player's perspective, you have to stay focused on the job at hand.
"In regards to this Friday and as a group, we will travel to Tallaght with a view to getting a result. We had a good record against them last year with two wins and a draw in the derbies so we will be looking to keep that going. We are also coming in off the back of two clean sheets as well, so we will be looking to maintain that and hopefully knick a goal down the other end."