The Saints are back in action on Friday against Pat Devlin's Bray Wanderers as they aim to return to winning ways and maintain top spot in the Airtricity League (kick-off 7.45pm).
League leaders Pat's will be aiming to replicate their 1-0 victory over the Seagulls from earlier in the season, a first half goal from Chris Forrester enough to see off Bray in the Carlisle Grounds in April.
However with four wins in their last six league games, Bray are one of the form sides in the league at present. Pat Devlin's men will also travel to Inchicore aiming to replicate last year's 1-0 victory in Richmond Park that saw Kieran Marty Waters score the decisive goal and see both sides end the game with 10 men.
For Saints' manager Liam Buckley, the mid-season break was a welcome opportunity for his squad to rest. However when speaking to stpatsfc.com, he expressed his happiness to get back into the swing of things, albeit with what he expects to be a hard game against Bray.
“Yeah the break was good to give some of our lads time off and the squad is all back in training now and look rested and ready to go again. We'll need to be at it on Friday as Bray will be tough opponents.”
“We'd a tight game in their place earlier in the season and since then they've been going well lately. Jason Byrne has been banging the goals in and they had good wins recently against UCD, Drogheda and Cork. We know they'll test us and pose us problems, so we just have to apply ourselves as best we can and hopefully we'll get a result.”
In team news, Killian Brennan is unavailable as he begins a two match suspension following his red card in the Saints 2-1 defeat to Dundalk, while Saints' boss Buckley is also without the services of Jake Carroll following the completion of his transfer to Huddersfield Town.
For Saints' midfielder Jake Kelly, the clash against his former side is one he is looking forward to as he looks to maintain his own form which has seen him notch six goals in his last six games in all competitions. The winger, who turned 23 over the break, admitted to enjoying the time off but admitted that the focus was back on the Saints' next game.
“It was good to recharge the batteries over the break so it was nice to have some time off and celebrate my birthday too. We could take in the European draw too so it's all exciting times for us. We weren't off for too long though so we've had a good few sessions and now we're looking forward to Bray as we want to bounce back from the Dundalk defeat,” Kelly told stpatsfc.com.
“Bray came to Richmond last year and beat us 1-0 and also got a 3-3 draw against us in Bray so we don't need any reminding of what they're capable of. They can get goals from nothing as lads like Jason Byrne and Kieran Marty Waters are so dangerous. But we're still confident in ourselves and we'll be looking to win on Friday.”
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