St Patrick's Athletic travel south to face Waterford FC on Friday night in the RSC as third place host fifth in the SSE Airtricity League (kick-off 7.45pm).
In team news, 20 year old midfielder Jamie Lennon returns to Liam Buckley's matchday squad after serving a one game suspension. Buckley will give late fitness tests to both Graham Kelly and Michael Leahy, while the Saints will be without the suspended Thomas Byrne and striker Christy Fagan who misses out through a knee injury.
Looking ahead to the meeting with Waterford FC on Friday, Buckley outlined the threats he expects to face in the RSC.
"Waterford are a very good side and I think their form this year has surprised a few, but on a personal level I expected them to be up there. Alan Reynolds is a great coach and will have them organised and ready for every game," he told stpatsfc.com.
"We are expecting a tough challenge from Waterford on Friday. They have had a few difficult games lately so we know that they will be looking forward to getting back to the RSC on Friday and expecting to pick up the points. From our side of things, we have to be much better than we have been in the last few games. We have got to get back to doing the basics right and working better as a collective. If we get that right and get back to where we were previously, we will give ourselves a good chance of getting a result."
For Saints' defender Simon Madden, the challenge of facing Waterford is one he is relishing having featured against them in contrasting games this season, having been a part of the Saints' side to lose 3-0 in the RSC in March and in the starting XI when Pat's defeated Waterford 1-0 in April.
"In our first game against Waterford in the RSC, we simply didn't turn up and they deservedly won. Second time round, we played really well. We even missed a penalty in the first half to go two up, so we will take confidence from the fact that we know we can perform against them and win. That said though, the last three results for us recently haven't been good enough so we have to get a positive result on Friday," Madden told stpatsfc.com.
The Dubliner echoed the thoughts of his manager citing the need to get back to defending to a better level than in recent games in order to turn around their results.
"It is frustrating in some ways that we have had a week since our last game. As a player, when you lose a game you just want to get back out there and put it right as soon as possible, but the way it has been is that we have had a week to assess things, train and try to improve on the things that haven't been going our way."
"We need to get back to doing the things we were previously which is getting the ball down and play, staying patient and get back to keeping clean sheets. If we do that, we can get back to where we were and the results will come."
|St Patrick's Athletic||36||52|