St Pat's welcome UCD to Richmond Park once more this week with the side's clashing in the second round of the FAI Ford Cup this Saturday, kick-off 5pm.
The Saints begin their campaign hoping to go one step further than last year's FAI Cup run which saw Liam Buckley's side defeated 3-2 in the final by Derry City after extra-time. Similarly, the Students will be hoping that this is their year to end what is now a 19 year wait since their sole FAI Cup success in 1984.
Saturday's second round game will be the Saints' 167th FAI Cup tie in the club's history, 102 of these have ended in victory with 64 ending in defeat. In the previous four ties with the Belfield outfit, St Pat's have progressed each time, albeit needing a replay on two occasions.
For the Saints to continue their recent good form, defender Ger O'Brien believes that the impact of players coming into the team, like Jake Kelly, will be crucial in helping the Saints challenge in all competitions this season.
“We have to keep going. Liam will keep our feet on the ground, the more experienced guys in the dressing room will keep our feet on the ground too,” O'Brien told stpatsfc.com.
“It's great when the other guys like Jake get their chance because they're chomping at the bit. There's going to spells in the season when lads are going to hit a little rut, so with lads banging on the door and waiting for their chance, it keeps everyone on their toes.”
For in-form winger Kelly, four goals in his last two games, the aim in the 2013 FAI Ford Cup is to go one better than last year and not experience the pain of cup final defeat again. However he also admitted to stpatsfc.com that the Saints must take the competition on a round by round process at the minute and not get ahead of themselves.
“It's still early doors in the cup but obviously it would be nice if we could go on a good cup run again, and hopefully go one better than last year. With it being our first round of the cup against the opposition who we just played on Tuesday, we want to progress.”
In team news, Saints' manager Liam Buckley has no injury or suspension worries ahead of a game that he expects UCD to make very difficult.
“Aside from Tuesday's game, UCD have been really competitive and have strung a lot of impressive wins together against teams in the top half of the table. We're expecting them to give us a really tough game,” Buckley told stpatsfc.com.
“Added to all of that, it's a cup game and we all know can be unpredictable. It's all about performing on the day, so from that end of things, we'll have to make sure we apply ourselves right.”
For ticket details on Saturday's game, click here
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