St Patrick's Athletic are on the road for the second time this week as they make the trip to the Brandywell for their SSE Airtricity League clash on Friday with Derry City (kick-off 7.45pm).
The Saints will be hoping for a repeat of the 1-0 win against the Foylesiders last season – a Killian Brennan goal from a free-kick after only three minutes the sole goal of the league clash last September.
Ahead of Friday's game, Saints' manager Liam Buckley told stpatsfc.com that he expects a stern test from Roddy Collins' side after our midweek defeat to Sligo Rovers in the Setanta Sports Cup semi-final first leg. “The lads had a tough game in Sligo during the week, and we know we'll have another challenge this Friday in Derry.”
“The Brandywell is a tough place to go to as it has always been a real fortress for Derry over the years. It'll be a difficult game as Roddy will have his players going all out for the three points. We have to just concentrate on ourselves though, and if we do that we'll hopefully get the performance right and get a result,” Buckley said.
The Saints' boss reports that both the fitness of Keith Fahey and Kenny Browne will be assessed before the game to establish their potential availability. Otherwise, Buckley expects to have the same players available to him.
The trip to the Brandywell is a fond memory for striker Mark Quigley, as in a previous encounter between the sides in 2008, the Tallaght born player scored a hat-trick for the Inchicore side in a 3-0 victory. Speaking to stpatsfc.com about that game, Quigley admitted the game is still a vivid memory for him.
“That game is still very much clear in my mind - I played left wing that day as the manager at the time, Johnny McDonnell, played me out there. I hadn't play much experience playing there so it wasn't what I was used to, but I managed to get on the end of three chances that day, and thankfully they all went in so I'll always remember that particular game.”
Back to the present day and Quigley spoke of his own personal progress with the Saints and of the test that he expects Roddy Collins' side to pose this Friday. Quigley, who was brought into the League of Ireland by Collins during a loan spell at Shamrock Rovers, cited his other encounters in the Brandywell as an indicator of the difficult challenge he is expecting.
“I've always had huge respect for Derry as traditionally they're always a physically strong side, and like to play attacking football. That's always the way it has been in the eight seasons I've been playing in the league. They're a good side so we'll need to play well to get anything.”
“I'm hoping to get more minutes under my belt on Friday as I've said it that I think it'll take both myself and the side time to get into our stride this season. That being said, we'll all be pushing hard on Friday to bring the points back to Dublin.”
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