St Pat's return to action on Tuesday as they make the short trip to Tallaght Stadium to face Shamrock Rovers in the quarter-finals of the EA Sports Cup, kick-off 8pm.
A home tie against league champions Sligo Rovers awaits the winner of the all Dublin clash, as the Saints aim to win the trophy for the first time in 10 years. The last league cup success the Inchicore side experienced came in a 1-0 win in the 2003 final against Longford Town, David Freeman with the winning goal for Eamonn Collins' side.
The Saints will be hoping for a reversal in fortune against their rivals in this competition. Last year it was the Hoops who eliminated Liam Buckley's side at the quarter-final stage in a 4-2 victory on penalties after the game finished 1-1 after extra time.
However in 2011 it was the Saints who were victorious, this time on a 3-1 scoreline in a penalty shootout in the 2nd round of the EA Sports Cup following a 1-1 draw after extra time.
For midfielder Shane McFaul, the Saints' sole survivor from that 2011 league cup game, any Pats-Rovers clash is always a big occasion and speaking to stpatsfc.com, he also admitted to wanting to seize the opportunity to get into the last four of the competition and claim a home semi-final.
“We set our aims out at the start of the season to do certain things and going well in the EA Sports Cup was one of them. We want to win every game, every competition we're in. There's a great incentive for us to try and get a home semi-final, and with it being a local derby, it'll be a great test.”
“Any game between Pats and Shamrock Rovers is always really tight, so we'll be looking to edge this one. I thought we performed really well in Sligo the last day so hopefully we can carry on from that as to go well in this competition would be great for the club and especially for our great fans.”
The team news for Saints' manager Liam Buckley is mixed ahead of the game as he welcomes Killian Brennan and Kenny Browne back into contention having served their respective suspensions.
However Liam Buckley confirmed to stpatsfc.com that he will be without the services of Greg Bolger, Ian Bermingham and Anto Flood through suspension, while striker Philly Hughes is cup-tied having previously played in Shelbourne's opening round of the EA Sports Cup.
For Pats' manager Liam Buckley, the recent break for his side since the 1-1 draw in the Showgrounds against Sligo has been a welcome, and now the attention switches back to a competition which the Saints are only two games away from a final.
“It's been a good week off and now we've a quarter-final of a cup, so it's a big match. If we can get past Rovers, we'd only be one game away from a final so we'll go to Tallaght and try and get through. Games out there between the two sides are always a good occasion so we're looking forward to it,” he told stpatsfc.com.
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