The Saints host Cork City this Friday as the Leesiders travel to Inchicore to make their first appearance in a league fixture in Richmond Park since Sept '09.
Having been on the road over the past three weeks in league games against Derry City and Sligo Rovers, and Shamrock Rovers in last Monday's Leinster Senior Cup, the return to action in Richmond Park is a welcome boost to a Pats side which still remains unbeaten in the league to date.
For Saints' manager Liam Buckley, the prospect of facing Cork City in a high profile match is something he is well used to from his first managerial spell with the club.
With Pats and Cork in a two way fight for the 1998/99 league title, a 1-0 win against Cork in April 1999 courtesy of a Paul Osam headed goal proved to be the defining point of the season as the Saints and Buckley marched on to claim the title.
Speaking to stpatsfc.com about this Friday's game, Buckley reported that the Saints continue to be without the services of midfielder James Chambers (knee), while Mark Rossiter misses out having also fallen victim to a knee injury after just seven minutes of last week's 2-0 win in Derry.
Greg Bolger sits out the game as he serves a one match ban having reached four yellow cards.
However, despite the loss of the three players for Friday's clash, Saints' manager Buckley remained positive stating that it would give other members of the squad a chance to impress against a fast improving Cork City side under the guidance of manager Tommy Dunne.
“We're missing a few bodies at the moment, but thankfully we've lads who are ready to come in as Cork's form in the last few weeks has been very good and Tommy has them playing well.
"You expect a difficult game from any Cork City side so they'll come here full of confidence, but we've been playing well lately so hopefully we can keep that form up in Inchicore this Friday.”
Cork will be looking for their second win in the capital having beaten Shelbourne 1-0 in Tolka Park last month, and having featured for Waterford United in the First Division last year against the Leesiders, Saints' defender Kenny Browne is expecting a tough challenge from a Cork side that possesses many attacking options.
“I'd know Vinny Sullivan well having played with him at Waterford and he's scored goals lately for Cork”, Browne admitted to stpatsfc.com.
“Davin O'Neill has been amongst the goals too and Tadhg Purcell is back as well and he's a hard lad to mark so it'll be a real test.”
“Even though Graham Cummins was a loss for Cork this season, the lads have been chipping in with goals so Conor Kenna and I will have to be on our toes at the back.
"Some of the top sides are playing each other this weekend meaning we've a chance to gain some points on them, so three points are vital.”
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